ISL 2018-19: "My main concern for tomorrow is my defensive line-up," says NorthEast United FC coach Eelco Schattorie
NorthEast United FC host Mumbai City FC in a crucial encounter in Guwahati tomorrow. The Highlanders are unbeaten so far in the ISL 2018-19 season, and Mumbai City FC will look to be the team who breaks NorthEast United's unbeaten streak, having climbed up the ISL table in their last few games, in which Jorge Costa has found a formula to get his team the three points.
NorthEast United FC so far hasn't been able to win a game in Guwahati their home city this season, and the Highlanders hope that their fortunes regarding a winless streak at home this season comes to an end tomorrow.
Eelco Schattorie does have a lot to worry about ahead of his side's crucial encounter against Mumbai City FC. For starters, he will be without two centre-backs after Mislav Komorski got suspended and Gurwinder Singh is out injured. This situation leaves Eelco with only one natural centre-back in his squad in the form of Pawan Kumar (the defender).
The Dutch gaffer did mention that he could experiment with his side tomorrow and that the likes of Putea might start given the situation they find themselves in.
"I don't have those characters in my squad who get overconfident, and it is good that sort of attitude is missing in my squad," is what Eelco had to say regarding overconfidence creeping into his side given he still is unbeaten.
Mumbai City FC coach Jorge Costa emphasized on his belief and said that he has faith in his squad to win the game against NorthEast.
"For the last few days, I have been watching videos of NorthEast United's games, and I must say they are excellent side. But, I have faith in my squad, and hopefully, we can win the game tomorrow," is what the coach had to say regarding the game tomorrow.
Mumbai City FC has two Assam born players in their squad, and it provides the lads with the perfect platform to perform in front of their home crowd. The coach though announced that local lad Alen Deory would not be playing tomorrow or at least won't be starting.
Regarding Pranjal Bhumij the coach didn't want to praise the lad directly but did say he was impressed with the way he worked in practice and that it was a collective team effort for Mumbai and he hated talking about individuals.
"I don't change anything, just some small changes that are it," is what the Portuguese coach had to say regarding his strategy for tomorrow. He also mentioned that if everything is alright, then he will field an unchanged eleven compared to the last game.
With the coach hinting at continuing his strategy for the next game also, the local crowd can hope to see local lad Pranjal Bhumij in action for the Islanders tomorrow. Milan Singh a once fan favourite for the Highlanders will also face off against NEUFC tomorrow in Guwahati.
Eelco Schattorie had respect for his opponents and said that playing against or preparing against Delhi was easy cause they played a similar style of football like possession-based football. Playing against Mumbai though won't be so easy as per the Dutch coach as they like to play balls behind the marker and make inward runs through the flanks which are always tough to play against.
"There are some loopholes in this Mumbai squad even though are a good team, and we will look to capitalise on those aspects," Eelco Schattorie remarked regarding how he plans to face off against Mumbai City FC.
Tomorrow's game promises to be an exciting encounter, and both the teams will hope to get the much needed three points.