Vasco: East Bengal are playing catchup with the rest of the teams in the Indian Super League (ISL) due to the late start they got to the pre-season, a combative Robbie Fowler said after their 2-2 draw on Saturday.
“It is easy to sit there and criticise us when we haven’t won a game. I am not making excuses, I am giving reasons as to why we haven’t got the results we wanted. We have shown a lot of passion and fight and we will win games. But we are massively behind, we were late to everything including the preparations and all we are doing now is playing catchup,” said head coach Fowler in a post-match interview.
East Bengal had a shorter pre-season than the rest of the teams in the league due to the last-minute confirmation of their participation in the ISL. Fowler and his staff had just four weeks to work with the team before the start of the season. They are yet to win a match after seven games but on Saturday, East Bengal managed to come back from 2-0 down at half-time with a second half brace from German midfielder Matti Steinmann.
“Everyone is looking for negatives in this team at the minute. Now I don’t know if that is because we consider ourselves one of the biggest clubs over here and we are not getting points. But we are trying, our lads are working hard. They are having to work more than everyone else and the positives are there. We have lost just one game in four and I think we deserve a lot of credit for that,” Fowler continued.
The former Liverpool striker was angered by Eelco Schattorie, a former East Bengal coach and now a pundit on Star Sports, criticising East Bengal for not having depth in midfield.
“I don’t know the pundit’s name but he is saying that we lack this and lack that; it’s a bit rich coming from you that we are lacking depth, we know where we are,” said Fowler in a post-match interview with the pundits in the studio.
“We have lost just one in four games, there are positive signs there. We showed a lot of fight and bravery and you are sitting there and having a go at our midfielders saying we lack depth. Do us a favour!”
Schattorie responded by saying that he meant that East Bengal is lacking depth while “running from the midfield”.
“(In) the second half, you changed the system and you were the better team and you were the better team,” said Schattorie.