It was East Bengal’s third defeat in a row but Alejandro Menendez does not think it as a cause for worry…
I think we played a very big game. I think we played very good football. I think in the second half we showed how we can put pressure on the opposition. We fought for the ball and we created many chances to score. We hit the crossbar and could have got a penalty. But there are many positives from the game,” Menendez remained unconcerned after the loss.
“If we play like this we will do well in the upcoming matches. Last season also we lost three consecutive matches but finally lost the league by just a point. So I am not worried,” commented the coach.
The head coach conceded that his team was not good enough on the day. “Probably in the first half the players were a little bit tensed. But even then we played some good football in the first 15 mins. (Basically) There are two reasons. One, it is a big game so players feel the pressure. Also, we came here on the back of consecutive defeats,” reasoned Menendez.
The former Real Madrid Castilla manager also defended Marcos Espada who although scored, went unnoticed for most of the evening.
“I think for a striker to score four goals without a penalty and creating chances (is good enough). He’s doing well. He scored the first two goals very well and scored a beautiful goal against NEROCA.”
Mohun Bagan almost ripped apart East Bengal’s defence in the first half with Nongdamba Naorem slipping past Kamalpreet Singh on numerous occasions. With no resistance in midfield, Bagan midfielders had it easy. However, Menendez was not ready to accept that the backline looked out of sorts.
“The first goal was a long ball. The number 10 (Joseba Beitia) came (made the run) and scored. It is their success and not our mistake. The defence can be blamed only if the opposition had created many chances.”
Before signing off, he reminded the fans that in the previous season he guided East Bengal to their best finish in 14 years.
“I’m grateful for the fans’ support. I got the club to their best table position in the last 14 years last season. I think we played really good football all throughout the season. So this is my message to the fans,” concluded the 53-year old.