Air India slumped to a 3-0 loss against East Bengal in an I-League encounter at the Balewadi Stadium in Pune on Saturday.
Anthony Fernandes, the interim coach of the Airmen, felt that the result did not highlight how hard his side made it for East Bengal. He stated, “The boys played very well. I think we created six-to-seven chances but failed to take any of them. We didn’t capitalize on our good play and were punished by a clinical outfit.”
Fernandes though did not blame the strikers for the toothless display infront of goal. He defended them by insisting, “I think our strikers have scored in almost every other game. There were some tough fifty-fifty chances, and we failed to make it count.”
The Air India coach also did not feel morale was low in the squad after a poor start to the season. He revealed, “We are upbeat about our prospects. We have created good chances and it is a matter of time before we start putting them away into the back of the net.”
He also felt that injuries and issues related to their foreign signings was holding the squad back. He told Goal.com, “We were missing two key players due to injuries. Also Lamine Tamba has not returned to the squad due to some family issue that he has. If he does not return soon, we might have to look at some other options. We could soon fill the Asian quota as well, for which we have shortlisted two players and shall make a decision soon.”
Fernandes, who was standing in for Godfrey Pereira, the former Indian International who was given the reins of the side in the summer, also revealed that Pereira was not on the bench against East Bengal due to issues regarding his contract.
“Godfrey (Pereira) will hopefully be back by the next game. He has had certain problems regarding monetary issues and other agreements with the club officials, which shall mostly be sorted soon. You could say I am just filling in for him,” he concluded.