Shillong Lajong FC went down 4-0 to East Bengal in a round four match of the I-League at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in Shillong, Meghalaya.
Thangboi Singto, coach of the north eastern side, accepted that they had been defeated by a "very good" team while urging his side to work hard in future games.
"We (Lajong) got beaten by a very good team. I think conceding the [first] goal on a set-piece (corner) was poor. I think that (conceding from set-pieces) has been an area where we have to work a little bit because against Sporting [Clube de] Goa also we conceded a goal from a corner," the Manipuri observed.
Singto gave credit to the Kolkata club for an excellent performance, while lamenting on the first half chances that fell to his men.
"I give credit to East Bengal who have two tall quality strikers (Edeh Chidi and James Moga) upfront and the players they have are good. It's a lesson learned. We have to really pull up our socks. Of course, we had some chances which we couldn't convert. The strikers have to start scoring, otherwise it will be a problem for us.
"I think the focus in the second half as we were trailing was that we could come back strong. But then, when you're two goals down or three goals down, it's very difficult on the players to really push yourself to that level. But again, you have to pull your socks up - each and every player, including me (coach). So we have to work much harder and improve."
The Lajong coach believes that had Subash Singh converted the opportunity that had come his way when they were trailing 1-0, probably the outcome of the game could have been different.
"I think that the chance which Subash [Singh] missed that would have levelled the game 1-1. It could have been quite competitive. But I still believe the first goal by (James) Moga, who's 6 feet plus, changed the context of the game," he mentioned.
Singto also praised East Bengal coach Marcos Falopa for getting the right results on the domestic and continental front since taking charge from Trevor Morgan.
"The [East Bengal] bench strength is very strong. For a coach, that's a luxury, but I give full credit to Marcos [Falopa] because he has done well with the team - AFC [Cup] and now (I-League).
"If you have good players, but you still can't make the team gel together, that is a different issue. Of course, if you have quality players, then it's easier for a coach. In every area they (players) work hard as a team that shows their quality. I wish them the best," he continued.
"It has to be (a wakeup call for Shillong Lajong). After the first win against Dempo, I told my players, 'You have to be on your toes...you have to be on your feet.' But I believe, like every team, we have to come back strong,” he said.
"We have to work on the areas that we are lacking. The players have to get their mindset right and fight for team, because we can't disappoint the fans for very long. They have been coming and supporting us for every match. So I think the onus is on us to deliver,” he signed off.
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