Schattorie pleased with NorthEast’s tactical display, Reddy wants Pune to be more clinical

NorthEast United FC put in a defensive masterclass to beat FC Pune City 2-0 at the Shree Shiv Chhatrapati Sports Complex Stadium in Pune on Tuesday. A first-half goal from Bartholomew Ogbeche put the visitors in a reasonable position going into the break. However, the Stallions dominated the entirety of the next 45 minutes but couldn’t break down the Highlanders. A late penalty by Juan Mascia sealed the win for Eelco Schattorie’s men and saw them go within one point of the top of the table.

Speaking at the post-match press conference, a satisfied Schattorie suggested that the win over Pune might just be their best yet given the circumstances. “It was a very difficult situation. With the traveling there was fatigue. The most difficult thing was that Mislav Komorski was injured. And that means we had to bring in Gurwinder Singh. He is a fantastic boy. Only problem is that we had to play with an extra forward, Juan (Mascia) and I cannot play 4-3-3. Which meant we had to change to 4-4-2. Pune also played 4-4-2 and it was almost one against one. The first 15 minutes we were decent, we were in control. But after that suddenly, we stopped doing that. They got a lot of corners. At half-time I told them don’t be scared to play. Have the guts to do it from the back. But the performance was something that I’m happy with. This is how I want to play football,” he said.

The Dutchman went on to talk tactics and revealed how he had to tweak his formation a bit, leading to a change in their playing style as well. “If we play 4-3-3, we have an extra midfielder that’s great to play football. But I had to play 4-4-2 but and opponent also played 4-4-2 and it becomes a bit direct and it becomes a case of fight. You can still play but we were a bit of negative in there because I had to put Gurwinder in there. So that was very difficult. Before the game, I know it was going to be difficult. The first 15 minutes was not actually that bad. The game was won by the goal that we scored,” Schattorie said.

A downbeat FC Pune City interim coach Pradyum Reddy, on the other hand, lamented the lack of ruthlessness from his team. “This is not the result that we expected but we came out and attacked and looked for all three points. We did that from the very first minute of the game and possibly going into half-time we felt we could have won the game. But games depend on taking chances and the opponents take the few chances that they get. That’s the story of the game,” Reddy bemoaned.

He also suggested that his team didn’t create any clear-cut chances especially in the second-half which led to their downfall. “I think, we had a couple of chances in the first-half to take the lead. And pretty much their first attack from the corner kick (they score). We had a couple of similar set pieces where the ball almost crossed the line. We got in behind but the final touch, the final pass was lacking, and we felt coming into the second-half, we could have pulled ourselves back into the game. But we just didn’t create enough chances in the second-half,” Reddy said.

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