ISL 2019-20: Eelco Schattorie – Club not in a position to change coach

The Dutchman also justified his decision to take Sahal Abdul Samad off before half-time…

Kerala Blasters FC’s winless run in the Indian Super League (ISL) stretched to nine games as they were unable to preserve their 1-0 lead against NorthEast United in Kochi.

The game was marred by questionable refereeing but Kerala Blasters manager Eelco Schattorie preferred not to dwell on it much. He was more concerned about the fitness of his players.

He said,”I don’t know if that was a penalty or not. The biggest issue is that I have to start puzzling again. Raju (Gaikwad) came halfway through the pre-season, fitness-wise it is difficult for these players to catch up if they don’t have a pre-season.

“Mario (Arques) also did his quadriceps again, I hope he is okay. I think we have a huge problem on the wings, all wingers are underperforming. It makes it difficult. We have a lot of crosses but the end product is not there. When the team is under pressure mentally, you need to step up. I don’t blame anyone.

“I am still thinking about what is the best thing to do. The positivity of the players is there, the attitude is there. In the end, you need that little bit of luck to overcome the mental blockade.”

India international Sahal Abdul Samad has not been a regular face in the Kerala line-ups this season and was taken off in the first half during his rare start. Schattorie believes that the youngster has not been good enough and wants to work with him.

“The problem for me is that I don’t want to say anything on Sahal. I think he is a fantastic player. This boy is in a situation where too many people put him (up on top). Every game he started till now, I don’t blame him, but he has not been good enough. I have nothing against Sahal. Let me work with him,” he said.

Despite going nine games without a win, the Dutchman believes that club is not likely to part ways with him.

“I can look in the mirror every day that I do 100 per cent my best. There are a few things that I can’t control. If the club thinks I need to be changed, it is their decision.

“I know exactly what the issues are. I don’t think the club is in that position (thinking about a change of coach) but in football, you never know,” he concluded.

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