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Eelco Schattorie rues defensive vulnerabilities, Phil Brown delighted with players' spirit

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Both tacticians had a similar take on the goals conceded on Wednesday night.

NorthEast United FC will have to wait to confirm their place in the playoffs after a tremendously competitive FC Pune City held them to a 1-1 draw at the Indira Gandhi Athletic Stadium in Guwahati on Wednesday. While the draw makes the Highlanders task a bit more complicated, it also puts an end to the Stallions’ bleak hopes of making it through.

Watch: NorthEast United 1-1 FC Pune City highlights

NorthEast boss, Eelco Schattorie presented his views on the tie at the post-match press conference. Admitting that the result added extra pressure on his team going into the final league fixture, the Dutchman said, “Yes, you have to win but we lost two of our most important defensive players. That means Jose Leudo with the red card and Mato Grgic with four yellow cards.  So, both will not play the next match. So, that’s a doom scenario. We need to have a replacement there.”

He then looked back at the entire match and delivered his briefing on it. He stated, “Structurally if you look at the last ten games, the best games we’ve played is where we played with our first-choice 11. In the first half, it was terrible. We lost so many balls. We shot the balls away. That makes the other team stronger because they are more a fighting team. They play long balls and fight. It gives them more control.”

“At half time I told my players to start stepping up and keep the ball. That worked and we scored one good ball. The goal was a defensive mistake. In the last ten minutes, we tried to play a bit more direct but that didn’t work. So, for the last game it is going to be a huge task,” he added.


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FC Pune City head coach, Phil Brown, too commented on the result. Unhappy with earning only a point, Brown said, “Yes, I was disappointed with one point. I was disappointed with the way we conceded the goal. I’m not blaming one person for that. I thought tonight’s game was going to be a 1-0 game. Everybody was challenging, everybody was tackling, everybody winning their individual battles. A mistake put us a goal behind.”

“I was delighted with the character and the spirit that the players showed. I think we should have done better with the chances. To go to Jamshedpur four-five days ago and then go to NorthEast and get four points from two games is no easy achievement. We’ve now got two games to go,” Brown said.

Marcelo Pereira was suspended for tonight’s match after picking up his fourth yellow card in the last match. Recognising the absence of the playmaker, the Englishman said, “Yes, without being derogatory to the team. We missed a big chunk of creativity. I think defensively we looked quite solid at times, and quite open at times. What Marcelo does for us, when we regain possession, we can give him the ball and we can go and play in the opposition’s final third for ten minutes maybe. We didn’t have that today.”

Published: Thu Feb 21, 2019 10:05 AM IST

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