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I-League 2017-18: Khalid Jamil: I didn't see my East Bengal contract, just signed

8:38 PM MYT 08/03/2018
Khalid Jamil East Bengal I-League 2017-18
Khalid Jamil could not confirm the length of his contract with the Kolkata club after guiding the Red and Golds to fourth place this season...

31 points in the 2017-18 season was not enough for East Bengal to win their maiden I-League title as Khalid Jamil's side managed only a 1-1 draw at home to NEROCA FC on the final day of the league.

"There are many games that did not well for us. There were problems with our defence. Attack also did not perform as per expectation. Coach is responsible for the failure. Players are working hard, officials did their job. But I think I failed. Problem were with my plans," said Jamil in the aftermath of the 1-1 draw. 

The Red and Golds were denied two penalties by referee A.Rowan but the Kuwait-born manager decided not to comment on the topic. "I don't want to comment on refereeing. Match is over now don't want to say anything. Minerva played well they deserved the title," he expressed while congratulating champions Minerva Punjab.

"We played 18 matches. There were several games. I cannot pinpoint any particular match to blame," he added as East Bengal finished outside of the top-three after seven seasons.

When asked if he still had one more year with the Red and Golds, the 2016-17 I-League winning coach replied, "I don't know, I did not see the contract, I just signed.  It is my pleasure to be the East Bengal coach."

On the other hand, Gift Raikhan guided NEROCA FC to a runners-up finish in the club's very first season in the top-tier of Indian football. "I was playing to win the game. Winning is important. East Bengal are a good team. I was expecting attacking football from them. They had players like Dudu and Al Amna," he said.

"In the first half, I knew Minerva's score. They scored in 16th minute. Last time I told I wanted to win the trophy as a new team and new coach. But I am very happy with my boys. The way they work in training.

"I am happy being second, I dedicate this result to Manipuri players.  The expectation from the beginning was to do finish third or fourth. So coming second is more than what we expected. We made a good team with quality players. I am happy with my boys' performance.
 
"As a coach, we need to pick a better team. There are some things I need to improve in my team next season and fight for the trophy. The defence and Lalit, the goalkeeper, played really well. Thanks to the entire team members and coaching staff for this great performance," he added.
 
The former Pune FC assistant coach too shared his thought on the refereeing. "Today is the not the first time that the refereeing was bad. It's happening from the beginning of the season. But this can happen. I can't complain," he concluded.