Schattorie hails NorthEast’s 'fantastic achievement' after victory over Chennaiyin
NorthEast United FC left it late to secure a 1-0 victory over Chennaiyin FC. A stunning strike from Bartholomew Ogbeche delighted the home fans at the Indira Gandhi Athletic Stadium in Guwahati on Saturday. The Highlanders could have very easily bottled it after wasting a series of chances throughout the match. The result also took the Highlanders to the third spot in the Hero Indian Super League (Hero ISL) 2018-19 table. For defending champions Chennaiyin, the loss ended any mathematical chances of them making it to the playoffs.
At the post-match press conference, NorthEast head coach Eelco Schattorie shared his thoughts on the intriguing match. Responding to a journalist’s question about NorthEast United’s over-reliance on Ogbeche, he said, "As long as he keeps scoring, we have no problem. But we had five or six clear cut chances that we missed. We should have had a penalty. When we compare our team to all other teams, we depend a lot on Bartholomew and Federico Gallego. I wish we had more players capable of scoring, but that is what we have to work with."
Continuing on the same note, Schattorie urged his doubters to acknowledge NorthEast’s achievement given their thin squad. "We have played thirteen games and we have only lost twice. You have to see this in perspective with the team that we have. Only yesterday, I had twenty players. I’m not complaining. I’m just saying that where we are is a fantastic achievement. I gave a plan to the club management and I think part of that has been fulfilled. I do think that we really have to stick together and work hard to get the results."
From Chennaiyin’s end, head coach John Gregory was present to answer questions from the media. Despite the loss, Gregory was content with his team’s performance and said, "Tonight we had three players making their debut for us. One of my central defenders has not even played one minute for us. We obviously had one or two changes in the line-up but they all played fantastically well. Our defenders threw themselves in front of the ball. I expected us to nick one, but obviously in the 87th minute something else happened."
Talking about his new signings CK Vineeth and Halicharan Narzary, Gregory admitted that they were a little off the pace, but opined that the duo will come good in time. "We fell away in the second-half. Both Halicharan and Vineeth lacked a bit of match practice. CK has not had that much match practice, he has not had a lot of time with us. I think it’s just a question of time. They just need to get settled in. I am sure next week they will be in a much better frame of mind," he stated.
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