NorthEast United head coach Eelco Schattorie Saturday admitted that his side not making the Indian Super League play-offs in the four previous edition puts him under huge pressure but said he’s not losing hope of doing so this time. The Guwahati-based side finished at the bottom in the 10-team league in 2017 with only three wins out of 18 matches, forcing a complete overhaul this year. NEUFC is the only team not to have qualified for the playoffs so far. Also Read - ISL 2018-19: Rowllin Borges, Bartholomew Ogbeche Score as NorthEast United FC Beat Mumbai City FC 2-0
“Taj Mahal was not made in a day, it took a long, long time. If you want to build something it takes time,” Schattorie told reporters on the sidelines of the ISL Media Day. Schattorie was in-charge of the franchise as an assistant coach to Avram Grant who has been made technical advisor while former Dempo coach Arthur Papas is also part of the coaching set-up. Also Read - Indian Super League: Mumbai City FC, North East United FC in Battle to Enhance Playoff Hopes
The current composition of the NorthEast United squad is a mix of good foreign players with several talented yet inexperienced Indians. “If you have never qualified, you are asked to do so. Yeah, there is huge pressure on me. I believe lower budget and low-quality players don’t matter in football. Everything is possible,” the former East Bengal and United coach said. Also Read - NorthEast United Co-owner John Abraham Plans to Set up Football Academy in Shillong
The team has recruited some good foreign players including former PSG striker Batholomew Ogbeche. Moreover, the average age of the team is much lesser compared to previous seasons.
“I do not have a Mini Cooper or a Ferrari with me,” he said referring to the club’s limited resources. “But my team will always try to win. I want to be progressive, not negative. There is no time to look back. We want to be a united team and try to make that goal a realistic one. The young players tend to have a trajectory of being very good one day, and lacklustre on some other day. It’s about bringing consistency.”
Poor results have led to a lot of changes in coaching personnel in the recent past but the Dutchman is not worried. “If I start thinking about that, better I pack my bags and go home. I always had this belief to be positive. I really enjoy the day I’m on the field. I have no control what is outside. I have a good relationship with the owners, you never know what tomorrow brings. I’m just focused on my goal,” he said.