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ISL 2019/20: Kerala Blasters head coach Eelco Schattorie happy to have Sahal Abdul Samad 

Modified 21 Dec 2019, 00:58 IST

Eelco Schattorie.
Eelco Schattorie.

Kerala Blasters prepare for their third home game of the Indian Super League season as they host Odisha FC at Kochi on Friday evening. The Blasters started their season with a 2-1 victory over ATK at home. However, the team has since then lost two back-to-back matches, putting them in a spot of bother.

Kerala Blasters' Dutch head coach Eelco Schattorie stressed the importance of stability in the team while addressing the media ahead of their clash.

"We need to have certain dynamics in place to succeed. We try to start from scratch. These things take time but in the end, one thing is stability. We need to create stability in order to build something, otherwise it is difficult.

Schattorie was of the opinion that they should have won the previous game against Hyderabad FC. Blasters had the lead in the first half but conceded twice in the second 45 minutes to give away three points.

"Our last game, we should have won. The other team (Hyderabad FC) had only three foreigners. We should have mentally stood up and won that game. We had good chances.

The Dutchman also admitted that his wingers were not at their best. Halicharan Narzary and Prasanth K are yet to find their feet in the season. Rahul KP, who started on the left wing against Hyderabad FC might bring some relief to the gaffer.

In the three games, we had 43 crosses; 14 crosses per game. Our wingers at the moment are not very stable, in our midfield, we missed a key player and in the defence I lost Zuiverloon. In all three games, all the players worked hard, tried to give their best. Zuiverloon will be out for six weeks maybe.

Schattorie had often been criticised for not including Indian international Sahal Abdul Samad in his first XI. In the previous game, the midfielder was given a start but was taken off in the second half, despite setting up KP Rahul's goal. The manager emphasised that he was happy to have Sahal in his team and denied all contrary reports.

I always support talents. Sahal has never played competitive football in his life. He has an amazing ability of creativity but it takes time to fit into the system. In the last game Sahal made a mistake but we didn't lose the game because of him. But these small things matter and I discussed it with Sahal himself. I'm happy to have Sahal in my team and people questioning that are not supporters.

Eelco Schattorie also stated that Mario Arques is expected to return to the squad for the match against Bengaluru FC on 23rd November.

Published 07 Nov 2019, 17:05 IST
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