East Bengal’s title hopes hit another roadblock, as they were held to a 1-1 draw by Sporting Clube de Goa, in an I-League encounter at the Salt Lake Stadium in Kolkata on Sunday.
Speaking after the game, East Bengal coach Trevor Morgan said, “I still don't think it (title) is impossible. Yes, it will be very difficult for us to win the title now. We need to win our remaining matches and hope that Churchill Brothers drop points."
Talking about the game, Morgan termed the first half display of his team as “awful”, adding that, “I saw forwards dropping back to win possession and when the balls were played into the opponent box, there was nobody to receive them."
Asked about the goal conceded by the Kolkata side Morgan expressed disappointment saying that, “It was a very bad goal to concede. We played 15 passes between ourselves and 10 seconds after that I saw the ball in our own net.” He did reserve praise for Juan Pena’s “brilliant finish” for the goal.
East Bengal restored parity in the second half thanks to a goal by Chidi Edeh. The East Bengal gaffer highlighted the importance of the Nigerian striker to his side. “Chidi has been fantastic throughout the season. The other forwards should have performed better. They have come in and gone out due to lack of consistency.”
When questioned if the number of games played by East Bengal had taken its toll on the players, the coach replied, “Fatigue probably did play its part. When you play 8 games in three weeks, then the body may take its toll a few weeks later."
Morgan brushed aside suggestions of his decision to not continue at the club next season affecting the performance on the pitch, by saying, “I don't think my decision to leave the club has demotivated the players. We have won two AFC matches in between that. That would not have happened then."
Midfield enforcers Harmanjot Khabra and Mehtab Hussain, who were suspended for this game, were sorely missed but Morgan stated, “Missing first team players is part of the game. A team has to live with the injuries and suspensions."
“The focus now shifts to the two AFC cup games ahead,” concluded the British coach, who is off to Australia for a break.
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