Robbie Fowler’s assistant also slammed the SC East Bengal defence following a dismal performance.

SC East Bengal assistant coach Tony Grant was furious with the team’s defence following their eighth loss of the season against NorthEast United in the Indian Super League (ISL) on Tuesday.

“I think in the first half we kept control of the game. The second half was a little bit of lack of concentration for our defence and it was a rubbish goal to give away,” he said in the post-match press conference.

Team put together for I-League

Speaking of the goals conceded, Grant said, “It was a more or less 20-minute span when our lads fell apart completely all of a sudden and then they got back into the game gradually. It highlights the capabilities of some of our players.”

“This team was put together for I-League. This was not put together for ISL. We came in two weeks before, with most of the players who have never played ISL,” the Englishman further added. “A lot of these clubs have players who play national football. They are more educated. So, we have to go out there and need to be really aggressive in the transfer market.”

Sarthak Golui’s performance

ISL 2020-21 | Tony Grant Pos-Match Press Conference | SC East Bengal Vs NorthEast United

“Sarthak is around the Indian team, apart from his one mistake he is a good player,” said the coach while asked about his take on the player’s performance.

He further added, “We need to find many more Sarthaks and the recruitment needs to be much better.” When quizzed about Jeje Lalpekhlua’s performance, the tactician stated, “Jeje did okay, he is not the same Jeje and we all know that. As the league moved on he has done better and better”.

Tonight’s loss a reality-check

When asked whether tonight’s starting lineup was with an eye to the future, Grant disagreed as he believes that it was more of a reality-check.

“It was not an eye to the future, it was a reality-check.” He added, “We have a lot of injuries and thus couldn’t field the first team. I think we could have won the game with our top men on the pitch. This is the harsh reality.”

Hopes to end the season of high note

East Bengal have just one game left in the season, against bottom-placed Odisha FC. Additionally, head coach Robbie Fowler is also set to return to the touchline after completing his suspension.

“With Robbie’s return, we hope to field a better team and end the season on a high note,” Tony Grant signed off.

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