A loss at this stage will have a huge impact: Morgan

Upender Singh

Kingfisher East Bengal stay the only Kolkata team in the top-four at the moment (as on January 25, 2012). With three points separating the Red-and-Gold from current League-leaders Dempo SC, www.the-aiff.com caught up with East Bengal Coach Trevor Morgan on the challenge ahead. EXCERPTS:

Despite East Bengal being placed second at the moment, they haven’t been consistent. How do you describe that?
Yes, our performance has been inconsistent. We lost some of the matches which we should have won. But having said that, I think we are in a good position. Ideally, we would have loved to be at the top of the table by now. We need to stay focused.

You play Churchill Brothers in a crucial next round encounter. How do you look forward to the contest?
Churchill Brothers are a very capable side and are very tough to beat at home. They stay at the third place at the moment as four points separate us. But you need to remember, they have played a match less. It’s understandable they would come all guns blazing at us. We need to be cautious but we will play to win.

The combination of Tolgay Ozbey and Penn Orji have worked wonders for East Bengal. What keeps them going?
Both Tolgay and Penn are quality players with lots of potential. Their combination has always helped us. Both complement each other on the field and the team is reaping the benefits in return. I’ve no complaints.

Sanju Pradhan has been outstanding in this edition. What’s your take on him?
Sanju is an exceptional talent who is a match-winner. He has matured a lot and understands his responsibilities and executes them on the field. That defines him. He will go a long way. I rate him very highly. In fact, this team boasts of many match-winners.

Which are the areas you feel your team needs to improve?
Defensive organisation is an aspect we need to improve upon. When we lost to Salgaocar in Goa, our defence wasn’t upto the mark. Hopefully, Nirmal Chhetri would be back with the team and we will have to reorganise our defence against Churchill who have some very good forwards.

Where do you see East Bengal at the end of the season?
The League has reached a stage where a win or a loss can have a huge impact on any team. And mind you, the top 4-5 teams don’t stay far way from each other. We need to stick to the basics. Predicting anything at the moment won’t be right.