The 57-year-old refuses to criticise his players for missing their chances to increase the scoreline as long as they get the three points...Trevor James Morgan was a happy man after East Bengal defeated Selangor FC 1-0 in the opener of the Group H matches of the AFC Cup in Kolkata, on Wednesday.
"It was a great team performance. This was one of the most disciplined displays we have put forward after I came to the club. Everybody really played their part and help carrying out the plans. We defended very well. We looked solid," said the British coach.
"Selangor is a very good side. The match was even in the second half. But in the first half, we edged them out. It was also very hard to play under such hot and humid condition," he added.
East Bengal ended their 21-match winless streak in the competition after last beating Jordan's Al Wehdat in April 2008. This was also the first win for Morgan, who had lost all six AFC Cup matches last season. "Yes, this is a great relief. We couldn’t win anything last year. Two years back however, we drew all the three home matches. Among the three games here last year, we were unlucky in two instances. So it was very important to get back to the winning track.
Morgan continued, "It gives you something to play for. If you lose the first few matches in a tournament, you lose the motivation. This will surely provide the boys with a moral boost. As long as we stick to our plans, we can win games against foreign teams also."
Selangor coach Irfan Bakti had praised Lalrindika Ralte and Sanju Pradhan for their brilliant performance in the match. The East Bengal tactician agreed with his Malaysian counterpart and remarked, "It’s always great when the opposition coach praises your players. It is so great of him. However, I would expect them (Ralte and Pradhan) to pull off this kind of performances more often."
When asked whether the ban of Ramez Dayoub has affected the opposition, Morgan stated that the Selangor side is big enough to manage the loss. He also claimed that he did not talk with his players on this issue.
Talking about the match, he said, "1-0 is a great scoreline. I concede that more goals should have been scored in the match, but I will not criticise my players for that. You criticise when your team fails to make enough chances. If I scold Penn [Orji] for missing the chances from two inches away, then he will probably not shoot in the next match."
With a series of fixtures coming their way, Morgan might think of resting his key players as much as possible to keep them fit till the end of the season. East Bengal will next play the IFA Shield and then will fly to Vietnam to play an away match of the AFC Cup against Sai Gon Xuan Thanh FC.
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