Eelco Schattorie rues injuries and suspensions, Jorge Costa wary of NorthEast threat
Written by: Manas Pratim Kashyap
The Highlanders are currently third in the table, while the Islanders are placed in fifth position.
After a fairly long and much-needed break, both NorthEast United and Mumbai City take on each other at the former’s home turf in Guwahati on Friday. While the hosts are yet to register a win at home, Mumbai are coming on the back of some impressive results in the last couple of games.
The coaches from both the sides addressed the media ahead of the game tomorrow:
Eelco Schattorie (NorthEast United)
The Dutch gaffer will be missing his starting centre-backs due to injury and suspension
NorthEast United coach Eelco Schattorie extended his greetings to the fans on the occasion of the festive season in the country. “I wish everyone a very happy Diwali and an extension of that. Hopefully, people will come and celebrate tomorrow at our game.”
On being asked if overconfidence could be an issue after a string of impressive performances Eelco said, “I don’t think that would be an issue. I don’t think in our team, in our group we have such characters. Of course, that can always happen, but I don’t think it would be an issue.”
“Our biggest issues will be that, in the games that we’ve played till now, we had a lot of suspensions and injuries and for tomorrow’s game I have a big issue (missing out Gurwinder Singh due to injury). These are some of the bigger problems to overcome.”
“We have to overcome our defensive hurdles. Mumbai is a different team to Delhi. Delhi play possession-based football, that means they are in front of you and Mumbai play behind, with a #7 on their right wing. They have a completely different way of defending. That will be my biggest emphasis, to stop that,” he added.
With two proper centre-backs (Mislav Komorski and Gurwinder) unable to take part due to suspension and injury respectively, the coach explained his tight situation. “We have to find a solution, but that is not easy. Our squad is not so deep. We don’t have that many options, but that’s football. On the market, budget-wise, we don’t think we are one of the highest. Until now, we have dealt to overcome such situations. We’ve good players upfront. We’ll try to score one more goal than the opponent team, that might cover our defence.”
“Before the start of the season, there were comments that NorthEast have a very weak defence, but we have conceded the least goals after Bengaluru and hopefully we’ll continue that against Mumbai.”
Speaking about the youngsters, Schattorie described the importance of having such players and expressed his eagerness to help them improve. “Yes, Redeem (Tlang) has played all games till now. Puitea came on at half-time against Delhi and did very well, most likely that he’ll start tomorrow. You don’t know how a young player will perform, but my philosophy is that if you don’t give a chance you don’t have any scope to improve.”
He further added, “They have my confidence and I’ll try to correct their mistakes. Overall, hope I get in return good energy, positive attitude and as a team wants everybody to co-operate together. We need to get those three points at home because we haven’t done that yet. Hope we can get the three points and go to a longer break ahead, start preparing and get everybody fit again and start for the second part of the league.”
Jorge Costa (Mumbai City)
The UEFA Champions League winner said that he doesn't alter his team's tactics much
Mumbai City coach Jorge Costa meanwhile, played it safe and praised NorthEast United for their impressive start to the season. “Yes, they have had a very good start to the season and to be honest, for the last 2-3 days, I was watching NEUFC playing. They are a very good squad, great organization in the entire 90 minutes all these games. So, tomorrow we’ll have very little control. But, we have a game tomorrow on the field, eleven against eleven and we can do very good things and we wish to go back home with the three points.”
On being able to overcome the tight situations and turn the table in those crunch moments, Costa said he doesn’t alter much in the style of play. “I don’t change much. We’ve been working for three months and we respect our opponents. We change small details depending upon the opponents we play. We have our own philosophy and that’s it.”
On being asked whether they could benefit from NEUFC’s suspensions and injury woes the Islanders gaffer said, “Yes, we had some similar situations in our home game against Pune. But, we have a set of 25 players to choose from. I think NEUFC has the same situation now.”
The Highlanders will miss the services of Mislav Komorski and Gurwinder Singh due to suspension and injury respectively. First-choice goalkeeper TP Rehenesh is expected to start after having to sit out three games due to suspension.
The Islanders don’t have any serious injury concerns of late. However, they do carry a few minor problems and niggles from previous games.
Rehenesh, Reagan, Leudo, Grgic, Robert, Borges, Lalthathanga, Redeem, Gallego, Kadam, Ogbeche.
Amrinder, Bose, Lourenco, Goian, Souvik, Sehnaj, Machado, Milan, Bastos, Sougou, Issoko
Did You Know?
- NorthEast United play their third home game tomorrow and have drawn both their previous two.
- Mumbai City top the table for most clean-sheets (3). NorthEast United are joint-second with Bengaluru FC (2).
- NorthEast United have scored 10 goals in five games so far, while Mumbai City have managed only six in six matches.
The match will take place on Friday at 7:30 PM at the Indira Gandhi Athletic Stadium in Guwahati. On television, the match will be live on Star Sports Network and North East Live. Meanwhile, it will also be streamed on Hotstar and Jio TV.