East Bengal’s losing streak continues after FC Goa beat them 4-2 at the Fatorda Stadium in Goa.

East Bengal got defeated for a consecutive fourth time after FC Goa beat them 4-2 on Friday. FC Goa looked spectacular in the first half in which the side scored thrice to go up 3-0. East Bengal showed a bit of fighting spirit in the second half after conceding another goal to score twice to decrease the deficit to 4-2. With yet another defeat, the side remains in the ninth position on the ISL points table with 12 points from 15 games.

After the game, East Bengal head coach Stephen Constantine attended the post-match press conference. Edited excerpts from the conference are as follows.

Coach’s overall reaction to the game

Constantine shared his thoughts on the game at the press conference. He asserted that the side could have scored another goal but admitted that the team needs to make some changes.

“We were terrible in the first half. After some words at halftime, we conceded a free kick to make it 4-0. But after that, we started to play and scored two goals. Should have had three. It is not good enough when you give teams a two or three-goal lead and expect to take anything from the game. It has been like this all season for us. We play well for 60 minutes or 45 minutes. You can’t win games like that.”

The tactician added, “We need to make some changes. We had the embargo. It has been lifted now. So, we can have Jake Jervis play. Unfortunately, we could have had him three games ago.”

On conceding thrice within 12 minutes

The 61-year-old reacted to his side conceding three goals within 12 minutes in the first half. He said, “When you concede two or three goals in such a short span of time, it knocks the confidence out of you. The heads drop. Ours is a very good group of boys, they work very hard. We may not have the quality sometimes. But, in the second half, they reacted to that. Of course, it was too little too late.”

On the positives from the game

Stephen Constantine talked about the positive takeaways from the game. He stated, “The positives from this game were two boys playing from the reserves. That does not make losing any easier but at least there is some development. This will be good for the club going forward. Obviously, we need to make some changes.”

On the team’s second-half performance

Stephen Constantine said that the second half was considerably better for his side than the first half. He reacted, “We got a reaction, which is what we were looking for. Of course, I am upset that we lost. I don’t take losing too easily. But this is where we are at the moment in East Bengal. We need to get better. Hopefully, we will have the time to get there.”

On the team’s plans going forward

Stephen Constantine stated that East Bengal has already begun planning for next season. He asserted that East Bengal will be a different team next year.

“We are not sitting on our hands waiting for this season to finish before we start preparing for the next season. (East Bengal) have already started planning for next season. We can’t speak too much about that. But, we would be different next season, I can assure you.”

On the performance of reserve-side players Athul and Tuhin

While talking about the performance of Athul and Tuhin, the former men’s national team head coach talked about the importance of younger players getting an opportunity to play at the top level. He said, “I would not evaluate Athul on the eight/nine minutes that he played. It is important to get him in at the right moment. The younger players need the exposure of playing at the top level, the younger the better. We will do that. We will keep on trying new players from the development teams as long as they are good enough.”

The British coach added, “I think Tuhin also did okay after he got in. Of course, they need to work a lot more and they are not going to be regular starters. I think they have potential and we need that.”

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