The East Bengal coach was furious about the inhuman schedule his team has to face because of the nonchalance of the All India Football Federation, after his team were held...Trevor James Morgan slammed the AIFF for the congested fixture his team had to face after East Bengal conceded a late goal in the dying moments of the game to be held to a 1-1 stalemate against minnows, Air India, thus taking a massive hit to their title chances.
“It’s a joke. It’s an absolute joke. It makes a mockery of football. We had to play 9 games in the last 24 days. It’s almost impossible. I am not a person who likes to give excuses. But today we had a valid reason. For the last 15 minutes, our players were struggling to get onto their feet. Nobody can play a football match at 2pm," blurted out the angry British veteran.
“People can’t even walk in this heat. And you are expecting a bunch of professional footballers to put on a performance for spectators, who pay to come and watch a match. It’s an absolute joke. Playing 7 games in three weeks is also very difficult. Then we had even more games. We had to play till the extra time in one match (IFA Shield semifinal against Mohun Bagan). This is absolutely ridiculous”, he kept on saying.
Morgan also denied that this draw will harm their title-hunt. The coach had declared the day before, that his team needed 5 wins from the remaining 6 matches.
“Nothing has changed. Now we need to win the remaining five matches. This one point we got today may be a bonus and we can end up with 16 points in place of the targeted 15. So, nothing has changed. It’s same as yesterday."
Morgan had replaced in-form Chidi Edeh with Uga Okpara in the second half and said that it was due to a knock
“Chidi suffered a knock in the first half, but he wanted to play on. It just got too painful in the end. I know Mehtab was limping. But I am very surprised to see all of them were not massively limping after what they have done for the last three weeks.”
The coach denied that there was a bit of complacency in his team’s mindset,“We are aiming to win the league. How can we become complacent? It is frustrating though that the last few goals we conceded were all from our possession. In the last game against Prayag also, we lost the ball and conceded. Today also, one of the passes got intercepted and the goal was scored. But then, the players were very tired also. They were completely shagged. They must have lost a hundred kilos between them.”
Morgan also criticized AIFF heavily for the timing of the match. “People come to see good football. In the first half, it could have been played by people over 65 years, because it was walking pace. This is madness, you know. This is absolute madness. Somebody will die one day and then the kickoff time will be changed. Till then, just ridiculous”, he remarked.
The former Hull City Development Coach also said that he will tell the officials to appeal to AIFF for changing the timings of the next few games. “I knew that the match will kick off at 3pm. However, the time was changed because of TV telecast. Let the TV-men play the game then. We have played 49 games already this season. There should be a reasonable interval between the games”, the coach signed off.
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