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Eelco Schattorie: Many teams complimented us for the manner in which we played

The former NorthEast United coach reiterated how injuries didn’t help their cause this season…

Kerala Blasters play their final league game of the Indian Super League (ISL) season as they travel to Bhubaneshwar to face Odisha FC on Sunday. The Men in Yellow haven’t qualified for the play-offs for the third consecutive season as they would finish on the seventh position this term.

Coach Eelco Schattorie explained that he wasn’t able to pick the same line-up twice in the season due to injury concerns.

“It’s very simple to me. Kerala, in the last two seasons, didn’t do anything. A lot of coaches sacked. This season, we are going to play game number 18 tomorrow and 17 times I had to change the team – not because I want to change but because I had to,” he explained.

He further elaborated that his players weren’t necessarily on the same wavelength due to the constant chopping and changing in the first team.

“Are you married? If you can change your wife every time, you will have to build a new relationship every time. You can laugh about it but it’s the truth.

“The most easiest way to explain to you – Bart (Bartholomew) Ogbeche and (Raphael) Messi – they scored 20 goals together because they could play around four-to-five games in a row together and start building a relationship. If I had to change the defence and midfield every time, it makes it very difficult to be consistent,” he reasoned.

Schattorie looked at the bright side and mentioned how fellow ISL teams heaped praise on their performances during the season.

“In the end, we played some very good games. Many teams, after the games, complimented us for the way we played against them. But to really win and have a little bit of luck also, you need to be consistent by playing with the same group for at least 70-80 per cent of the games with the same eleven,” said Schattorie.

Despite their failure to qualify for the play-offs, Schattorie stated that he would look to win three points against Odisha FC and not just field a team of young players.

“I will pick the best eleven. I don’t think that you as a journalist and if your boss doesn’t give you a chance for promotion, you are not going to do your job. It’s the same for me. We want to go all out and get three extra points. Professional football is about giving a chance to those who deserve it,” concluded Schattorie.

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