The Dutchman spoke ahead of his side’s clash against his former club.

Kerala Blasters lock horns with NorthEast United in a crucial match in Kochi tomorrow. The coach of the beleaguered Blasters Eelco Schattorie attended the customary pre-match press conference, where he fielded questions from the journalists.

Coach’s Corner

Kerala Blasters currently sit second from bottom in the league and had their coach banished to the stands for expressing dissent in their last game. The tactician did not hide his disappointment regarding that episode saying, “Last game, me not being in the dugout, was very difficult for me. I had to pay ₹50,000 for something I didn’t do. Secondly, I got suspended for something I didn’t do.”

“We lost the last game 3-1. The team was in a difficult situation and needed guidance, which was difficult for me to do from the stands.”

The Dutchman admits his team are in a rut and called upon his side to rise up to the crisis, “What we can do now as a young team when you are losing is to be mentally and physically tougher. Last time I was not there in the dugout, but I was a bit angry with the team.”

Eelco Schattorie went on to say,” You have to stick together, whether you are in the XI or on the bench. if you go through a difficult patch then you need to do that in harmony together and it doesn’t need to be beautiful football, as long as you can get a result because it will give you confidence.”

The tactician will be up against his former side NorthEast United and believes his team are in need of some luck,  if they are to prevail tomorrow. ”Of course, it’s a game against an old club, so it brings a certain dynamic. But, to be honest, I am pretty emotionless regarding this because I am only focusing on our team now trying to get a result.”

“They (NorthEast) have also lost their last two games and are a bit down, hopefully that is an advantage for us playing on our home turf. I saw a few games of them and they had some good luck in gaining some points, so hopefully we will also have some of it tomorrow because it will lift the confidence of my players,” concluded Eelco Schattorie.

Team News

Sergio Cidoncha remains an injury doubt for the clash against NorthEast United, while star frontman Bartholomew Ogbeche is fit again and available for selection.

Head-to-Head

Both sides have played 10 times so far, with the Blasters winning twice more than their counterparts. The fixture has seen the hosts lose thrice, while the Highlanders have lost five times so far and will be looking end the negative streak.

Predicted XI

Rehenesh, Rakip, Drobarov, Raju, Jessel, Jeakson, Arques, Sahal, Seityasen, Messi Bouli, Ogbeche.

Broadcast

The match will be broadcast live from 7:30 P.M. on the Star Sports Network, Hotstar and Jio TV on Saturday.