The Dutchman looked content with the win against the defending champions.

Kerala Blasters defeated Bengaluru FC by a margin of 2-1 in what was their first ever victory against the defending champions of the league. Bartholomew Ogbeche’s brace ensured a fourth victory of the ongoing season for Eelco Schattorie and his team.

The head coach addressed the media personnel after the game. Schattorie’s opening remarks were, “Last year I played four times against Bengaluru. One win, one draw, they got away two times last year. This year when we played there, was a bit even, which was from set-piece I remember. But, overall, I know where their weakness is.”

Assessment Of The Game

“The first half, the problem, before the game, I spoke to our CEO. I was a bit scared of the ball they play behind the defence to my keeper. Because, Bilal is not the type of keeper who covers that space, really. That is not a criticism, that’s a style. Unfortunately, they scored. That is mentally difficult. He recovered fantastically and did a very good recovery eventually. He is also still a young goalkeeper, with not too much experience, so a compliment there.”

“The tactic what I want to do was working. But, in the end, the finishing, the final ball was not always there. Messi (Raphael Messi Bouli) had a good header chance, he had a good shot chance. As I said, the tactical part I know, but in the end the players have to do it and they kept believing in it. If you look at the possession-based coaches, they will say that the opponent team will drop back to their part yes. But, we also forced them back.”

“I am happy that we could turn that into a result. Like ending our games also, when we played against Goa, it was exactly the same. But, in the end you need certain finishing. I don’t know if it was a penalty, not sure. I have to see that, but at least in this game we were a little bit lucky. Overall, we created a lot of good chances. As I said, Messi could score two times, Sahal had a fantastic shot. Also, if you see the goalkeeper that Bengaluru has, he can save the box, the free-kick maybe he could have saved it. But, in the end, yes we are happy with three points.”

On Ogbeche, Goalkeepers and Sahal Abdul Samad

Ogbeche has climbed up the goal-scoring charts to join Ferran Corominas and Roy Krishna with the highest tally of 13 goals. Eelco Schattorie elaborated on that by saying, “Any team that finishes high, has two things, someone who can score goals and someone at the back who can save goals. Most top teams have them both. For us, the keeper has made huge errors this season. The two players behind, Bilal (Khan) and Shibin (Lal) are young, not experienced, it sort of takes time. Eventually, yes if the striker upfront scores goals, you stay in the race. But, in the end, to really finish it off you just need consistency.”

Interestingly, Sahal Abdul Samad started the game in a wider position. Eelco Schattorie quipped on the same by stating, “It’s a fantastic way at this level to get the experience on the wing. On the wing you have a little bit more time, you have to have some physicality. But, that gives you rhythm, that gives you time to get used to physicality. Sahal, I wish people around him protect him a little bit more. I believe in him, but the thing is for a player like him, his background is not from professional football. For him to learn that, for the parents to understand the concepts, it just takes time. I will do anything I can to help him.”

“So, he did a fantastic job. He had one very good chance to score. I wish he had scored because that would have given him more confidence. But, I come from a country where we work with talent and playing on the wings is actually very good way to work your way in. Because it is more difficult. But, why is he playing on the wings? Because we play with two strikers. In the beginning of the season I started with 4-3-3. But, because of the injuries we changed and we don’t want to keep on changing. So, to let him play in central midfield, that will not be a good role for him now, it will be more difficult.”

Signing Of Indian Players

The Dutchman was asked about the ISL head coaches’ role in the influx of newer players, especially the Indian ones and he reflected on it by observing, “I hope I am going to have a say in choosing Indian players, that’s all I can say. That security is still not there, so that’s it. ”

“I hope I can get a chance to finish it because I can tell you what I did last year at NorthEast. Having a season like this, I am the first one who goes home with a big frustration. Because I am a very proud person and I know what I can do. So, when you don’t have the tools or don’t get the patience for such things, it gets difficult for me personally. I hope I get the chance to do so.”

Future Plans

Furthermore, Eelco Schattorie was put on the spot by being asked how the club should plan ahead, considering that the match provided a glimpse of what the team is capable of. He answered, “I don’t think that is something I should share with the media. Simply because I cannot share certain plans with you, while I am not sharing with the club. I would love to share things. I am very open person, very transparent. But, also certain things I say, first I need to see what my future is. If the future is here and I hope so, then hopefully with the club we can make a plan to make the team as good as possible.”

TP Rehenesh’s Absence

A journalist quizzed the head coach about the absence of TP Rehenesh. The former NorthEast United boss remarked, “Rehenesh had a lot of chances and he was simply not good enough. Yes, now he has some other injury, but I am not the type of person who don’t put somebody aside after one, two or three chances, he got the fourth or fifth.”

“There’s also a learning process where I say you need to do little bit on the side. I would love to see that on the shadow and work his way back,” Eelco Schattorie concluded.