Schattorie sympathizes with Hyderabad’s growing injury concerns
Kerala Blasters FC travel to the G.M.C. Balayogi Athletic Stadium on Saturday to face Hyderabad FC in their first away match of Hero Indian Super League (Hero ISL) 2019-20. Eelco Schattorie’s men have three points from two fixtures and head into the contest on the back of a loss at home to Mumbai City FC. However, they’ve enjoyed a much better start to the campaign than Hyderabad FC, who’ve lost both their opening two games.
When asked if a better start to the season gives his side a psychological advantage going into the fixture, Schattorie who was present at his pre-match press conference, said: “No, in football it doesn’t exist. When you lose two times and play at home, there will be some pressure on the home team but at the same time, we lost. I don’t think we have an advantage.”
The Dutchman was sympathetic to Hyderabad’s start to the season, highlighting the injuries within their squad as the main reason behind their slow start. “Besides Hyderabad, this season a lot of teams have injuries. Even for us. So, it’s never easy when you don’t have your strongest XI or your strongest possible setup. I think for Hyderabad, they are struggling with injuries.”
He added: “We are not that bad. We have some foreign players who are not fully fit, but that’s part of football. You have to work with it and hopefully, we are a little bit lucky tomorrow and get away with three points.”
The former Highlanders boss did not hide behind injuries though and suggested that teams should take a a leaf out of FC Goa’s notebook, stating, “First game we played, we won. But at the last stage of the game, (Mario) Arques came on but then went out injured again. We missed a little bit of creativity but at the same time, you have to compensate that with my strategy of play and find our own ways of going forward.”
“But yes, it’s part of football. Goa in their first game didn’t have (Ahmed) Jahouh. They don’t have Edu Bedia. So, that’s part of football. It’s not something I’m worrying about. Just hopefully, we can get our players fit as quickly as possible so that I have more options.”
Indian international Sahal Abdul Samad hasn’t started either of the Blasters’ game so far and Schattorie explained the reason for his exclusions from the starting XI. “I am very happy that I have Sahal in my team. but at the same time, the last year was his first year in the Hero ISL. His background is not from competitive football leagues. So, he needs to grow. I will always stimulate talent. I will always give a chance. But you need to bring something to the table. It’s not about giving one or two passes, and four, five balls you give away. It’s a loss of stability.”
Finally, the Kerala boss pleaded with his fans for patience, stating, “I would (like to tell the fans to) be patient. I’m getting emails and messages from supporters on how I should lineup my team. I ask for a little bit of patience. The guarantee is there that the players who play tomorrow and even in the last two games, they gave their all.”
Read the Match Preview here.