GUWAHATI, Feb 6 - After suffering a disappointing defeat against Bengaluru FC in their last match, NorthEast United FC will settle for nothing short of three points when they take on Delhi Dynamos in a crucial Indian Super League (ISL) match at the Indira Gandhi Athletic Stadium here on Thursday.
Eelco Schattorie’s men suffered a 1-2 away defeat against Bengaluru FC in their last outing despite dominating proceedings for most part of the match.
“The disappointment in the last match was that not getting three points but the way we went about it there was absolutely no negative. I had the feeling that the team which should have won was us.
“In the last three games, we could have had five penalties, out of which three of them were in the Bengaluru game. I can show videos to show that I was hundred per cent right and they influence the game hugely and that’s painful. I don’t like to argue about referees but if five penalties are disallowed in three games, that has influence. But we have to put that aside and take the positives. I took the full risk against Bengaluru, even in the last part of the game we went all out and lost the game. But the players are confident. They know that they can dominate and win matches,” Schattorie said.
When asked about the pressure of winning the match in any condition, Eelco replied, “The biggest pressure I have is that we have played 14 games and out of that only seven times I could play my strongest formation. The other seven times I had to adjust simply because of losing a defender like Mislav (Komorski).
“Four games injured and three times he went out (Twice red card and once due to injury). All those times I had to (tweak) the formation. In the away game against Delhi, I had to play a 4-4-2 formation, which I don’t like and now I am back to square one again. I have to find a way. I have full confidence in my players but injuries are a concern.”
Regarding the impact of the one-month break the team had, the Dutch coach said, “When you go into the break and the comeback, the preparation you do to get into the groove is the friendly games you play to see how fit the team is. I can’t say about other teams but as long as I have my strongest XI, I am not scared of any team. We have shown that we can dominate against any team.”
Delhi Dynamos, on the other hand, finally seem to have found a bit of rhythm as they have picked up seven points from a possible nine in their last three matches.
However, a disastrous initial half of the season has all but put paid to their play-off hopes. The Dynamos, however, will be confident of showing everyone that they can give any team a run for their reputation.
“If we win our remaining matches, the team will be more motivated. We know maybe we won’t qualify for the play-offs but if we win the next games, we will get confidence. In our home match, we lost to NorthEast United 2-0. Now if we win tomorrow in the away game the team will get great confidence,” said assistant manager Mridul Banerjee.
Delhi do have a couple of fitness concerns though. Midfielder Bikramjit Singh is injured while Adria Carmona is not expected to feature in the starting XI despite travelling with the squad.