East Bengal failed to bounce back after their unbeaten run was ended by Prayag United last weekend, as Mumbai FC too got the better of the Red and Gold in an I-League encounter in Pune.
Trevor Morgan, the East Bengal coach, blamed himself and the lack of preparation in the build-up to the game for the result and opined, “I thought Mumbai FC deserved to win. We did not show enough until we were a goal down and we missed a good chance to get back into it, when Lalrindika Ralte’s header went wide. We conceded two poor goals and lost probably because I picked the wrong team. We did not look remotely like we would score.”
“They scored with their only two shots on goal. Preparation was terrible, we had a 12-hour journey and were allowed to use the pitch only for 45 minutes yesterday, because of some tournament going on here. We were not allowed to use the pitch today by Mumbai. The organization was poor, we were not able to work on our set-pieces and had to use the side-track for preparation.”
Coming back to the game, the Englishman felt that Penn Orji has to find a way to be effective, even when man marked, and backed his side to hit back strongly after the recent blip.
“I don’t think they (the three attackers) were isolated, and teams are going to man mark Penn. But he has got to get the know-how of how to get over it. He has got to learn quickly, and perhaps needs to release the ball faster than usual.
"The players are going to play their way through it (the recent bad form). We have lost two consecutive games, which happens. It was not the case of us peaking early this season, we were just poor today,” he continued.
Morgan though felt that his players need to improve their decision-making capabilities in the final third, and did not think his decision not to rotate the squad had got anything to do with the dip in form. He stated, “I do not take any positives from today. You cannot teach them (the players) decision making, it has to come from them. It is the decisions they make on the ball that is a problem.”
“I don’t like changing the team. Why should we be tired, when we have had a good start?” the East Bengal coach reasoned.
The lack of goals has really held the Red and Gold back, and though Morgan stressed it is not an issue till the time they do not concede, he was also happy to reveal the club will sign a fourth foreigner soon, Australian forward Andrew Barisic, to give their campaign a new lease of life.
“We shall have signed Barisic in Juanary. We cannot sign him before as the transfer window opens then. Of course, if we could have got him at the start, it would have been great, but we had budget constraints then,” the former Bolton Wanderers player mentioned.
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