Schattorie points to team unity as NorthEast’s biggest strength

NorthEast United FC will look to cement their position in the top four before the international break when they take on FC Goa at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in Goa on Friday. The Highlanders, under head coach Eelco Scahttorie, have been the surprise package of this season, collecting 20 points from 11 matches and currently occupy the third spot in the standings.

Schattorie was present at the pre-match press conference to answer questions from the media. He agreed that it might be a good time to face Goa, given their lack of form of late, but also expressed concerns over his own side's lack of depth. "I have my own problems. We started the season with 22 outfield players. At the moment, I have 17. From those 17, two are questionable. So, we have a small squad. At the same time, Goa lost their playmaker (Ahmed Jahouh) and I'm happy with that. Also, they lost their last game, which puts them under pressure but I'm more worried looking at our team" he said.

Friday’s encounter will see two of the league’s best strikers – Bartholomew Ogbeche and Ferran Corominas- face off against each other. When asked who the better forward was, the Dutchman said, "Of course, ours (laughs), I have to say. I think both haven’t scored for three games. But strikers have periods where they score a lot and then it goes down. But it doesn’t matter who scores from our side. I am happy to have Ogbeche in our team because he brings stability."

Rowllin Borges has been a pivotal figure at the centre of the park for NorthEast, chipping in with few goals as well as covering his defence whenever needed. Schattorie heaped praise on the midfielder and said, "First of all, our strength is that we want to work together, and we have a good defensive organization. I think we have the second-best defence in the league. Within our system, I try to utilize the individual qualities as well as I can. I think he (Borges) is a fantastic midfielder with a lot of quality. He needs to work on a few things and that will make him an even better player. Overall, we just try to work as a unit."

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