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East Bengal coach Mario Rivera slams his team's concentration after Indian Arrows defeat

10:09 PM IST 01/02/20
Mario Rivera East Bengal I-League 2019-20
The stand-in Red and Golds boss felt his team can still make up the ground and catch up with the league leaders...

East Bengal were consigned to a fourth defeat in five matches after going down 1-0 to the Indian Arrows in Kolkata on Saturday.

Stand in manager Mario Rivera was disappointed with the concentration levels of his players after the loss which sees them languish at the sixth position with 11 points from nine matches.

"I think the result is not good obviously. The team played well in certain time. The players need to keep concentration. After missing key chances we go missing. Then again they play well and again after missing chances they go missing," he said.

"I need to see the practice session and then analyse. My players played with a competitive mentality. They created chances but couldn't score. Maybe that's why the players were a bit frustrated."

Rivera also jumped to the defence of striker Marcos Jimenez who missed quite a few chances in the game. "Marcos has scored 5 goals. He is getting chances to score and that is important. I think he is a very good striker and I don't want to compare with others," he said.

Playmaker Jaime Santos Colado had also come under criticism after a lacklustre defeat but Rivera was having none of it.

"I think Colado is playing well. Last season when he came nobody knew him. Now everybody knows him. When the team win everybody look good but when they lose players look bad. I think Colado is the same problem."

Rivera, who took over the team after Alejandro Menendez stepped down after a derby loss to Mohun Bagan, emphatically stated that the Red and Golds are not out of the title race yet despite being 12 points behind league leaders Mohun Bagan.

"I think we still have chance. All teams are equal and all of them can win the league. If we get a couple of wins, we have chance. Last season we had similar difference with Chennai City FC but we came back.

"For me the difference with Mohun Bagan is nine points because I am confident we will win the second leg derby against Bagan."

Rivera went on to state his commitment towards the team by pointing out that he had managed the team right after a 16-hour flight journey.

"For me it is a big challenge and we will give our best. I sat on the bench after 16 hours of flight. I could have sat in the gallery and take no responsibility but I wanted to be with the team."