Trevor Morgan, the coach of the East Bengal team conceded that playing out a 2-2 draw against the Prayag United has dampened their title hopes.
With widespread criticism over Gurpreet Singh’s performance in between the sticks, Morgan refused to blame the former Indian Arrows custodian.
“We have to take it as a team failure. If Ishfaq (Ahmed) misses a chance in the dying minutes, then that also is a team effort,” he mentioned.
However Morgan stated that the first goal by Carlos Hernandez changed the complexion of the game as the opposition built on the momentum gained.
“We let them score a bad goal first. Then for the first time in the match, we gave Carlos Hernandez space in front of him. And he delivered a great ball to Ranti (Martins) who finished it beautifully. In our last three matches against Prayag, Ranti has got three opportunities and has scored three times. But the disappointing part is if we had not conceded the first goal, it would have been tough for them to come back in the game. But a goal gives you a bit of momentum, especially when comes in such a way,” he explained.
The British coach of the Red and Gold remarked that goalkeeping performances have been his team’s Achilles Heel throughout the season. He also advised Gurpreet to learn how to face these criticisms as they are the part and parcel of football. “He has got some good headlines in the recent past. Now he is going to have some bad headlines. These are all part of the game,” he said.
With East Bengal letting yet another opportunity go to put pressure on league leaders Churchill Brothers, Morgan acknowledged that they will have to win their rest of their matches and hope for other results to go their way, if their dream of winning the title is to be realized.
“Now we have to win the remaining four games and then look forward to the other teams. We have to hope that the other teams lose. Pune FC will be very happy. There is every chance of them to win the I-League this season. Churchill will have tough matches and also travelling will be involved. Pune is the dark horse now.”
There was late drama in the game, as Chidi had put the ball in the net deep into in the injury time but was deemed offside. “I can’t say anything about that. The linesman definitely had a better view,” he told.
Morgan and his counterpart Eelco Schattorie were involved in a heated argument at half-time and the East Bengal gaffer played down the incident.
“We had words. But then we shook hands and everything was okay,” he said.
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