The Englishman praised his team’s perseverance after they grabbed a late draw against Aizawl FC…

Kolkata giants East Bengal suffered a major blow in their I-League opening fixture when they drew with Aizawl FC at Barasat Stadium yesterday. The East Bengal head coach seemed displeased with the final score but he revealed he was lucky not to have lost and pleased to have gained one point to their points tally.

Morgan praised his players for their perseverance in seeking the equalizer However, he also revealed that given time, the squad will start performing up to their expected standards.

East Bengal’s Haitian striker Wedson Anselme had a slow start in his I-League debut. When asked about Wedson’s performance against Aizawl FC Morgan replied, “The more they (foreigners) understand, the more they join the better. If they do that, we will be okay.” He further added, “As a team we showed good spirit, we showed good attitude and we kept going.”

Being one goal down in the first half itself, the 60-year old coach was forced to substitute in new foreigners Ivan Bukenya and Willis Plaza in the second half of the match. In the pre-match conference, Morgan mentioned that both of these foreigners had little time to train as both of them joined up with the team only a couple of days before and did not have the required match fitness. The English coach was asked if he had previously played any of his players in his past managerial jobs after only a day of training and lack of match fitness when he replied, “I haven’t, personally. It is not up to me.” “But I think he did pretty well considering the facts.”

East Bengal missed their fair share of chances in both the halves against Aizawl FC. The East Bengal manager admitted that there was a lack of finishing in his team yesterday. Though the Red and Gold brigade had one genuine chance to score another goal in injury-time, the ball was intercepted quickly. Which lead to the controversy of Aizawl playing with 12 men in the dying moments of the match as Kamo Stephanne Bayi went back on not knowing that he was substituted by Lalthakima. Morgan was asked if he wanted a replay against Aizawl, as a result of that incident. “It doesn’t matter what I think,” said the coach.

East Bengal will play against DSK Shivajians FC on 14th January at Shree Shiv Chhatrapati Sports Complex, hoping to come back to winning ways.