Schattorie, Gombau content with ‘fair’ result

NorthEast United FC and Delhi Dynamos FC cancelled each other out at the Indira Gandhi Athletic Stadium in Guwahati on Thursday and settled for a 1-1 draw. Birthday boy Marcos Tebar put Delhi forward in the second-half before Bartholomew Ogbeche earned and scored a penalty to draw things level.

NorthEast were without first-choice centre back Mislav Komorski on the night and according to head coach Eelco Schattorie, the Croatian defender's absence was a huge blow for the team due to the lack of depth in the squad. "It is clear (our squad is small). When we start this game, I’m never worried about the result. 50% of any game is organization and structure. That means you look at the qualities you have, and you try to find the best possible balance. For us, we have an issue at the back," he said.

Schattorie started the match with midfielder Jose Leudo filling in as centre-back but was forced to make an early tactical change bringing in Gurwinder Singh in place of midfielder Redeem Tlang. The change in personnel helped Leudo move up further forward into the centre of midfield, which in turn allowed the Highlanders better control over the match. Explaining the tactical switch, Schattorie revealed, "I chose to not start with Gurwinder because the beginning of the game is not settled and that can create problems for him. So, I started with Leudo but after 15-20 minutes I made a change and we got a better grip on the game. It changed more in our favour. But then the next step, the way I like to play, we lost something because Gurwinder is not that type of a player. Offensively we lost a bit."

The Dutch coach, however, expressed his happiness with the performance and stated that he was content with the result. "The amount of chances we created, I think we did very well. The quality in the final pass was lacking maybe but that is not easy. However, I won't be negative. It was a very positive point and I am happy with it," he said.

The Highlanders boss also expressed his admiration for the Dynamos team and stated, "I think Delhi are one of the better teams. In the beginning of the season, I said they are a good team. They have really good Indian players. I’m 100% sure that if this team had a good striker who is lethal, they would be in a much better position. The coach also plays decent football. Their performance was good."

Delhi boss Josep Gombau felt that the final result was a fair reflection of how the match played out. "Yes, I think the result is fair. In the first-half, the first 20 minutes, we were in control of the game and after that NorthEast took control of the game. In the transition, both sides were attacking. I think we missed good chances in the first-half. NorthEast also had chances and they hit the post. I think the draw is fair," the Spaniard said.

The veteran coach also provided an overall assessment of his squad and said, "I think all the players are doing well. I think we are really doing well this season, not just now but throughout all the games. The problem is we are not taking our chances. We have chances to score goals in every single game but we are missing. We don’t really have a number 9 who can score goals."

Read the match report here.

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