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Morgan is okay with the 40-match cap

Calcutta: East Bengal coach Trevor James Morgan is more bothered about his team’s performance than Mohun Bagan’s new coach and ‘good friend’ Steve Darby.

Though his boys played some really entertaining football to clinch the Federation Cup and the Calcutta Football League last season, the I-League eluded the red-and-gold brigade yet again.

But this time the British coach is determined to make amends. “Obviously, we have to be alert right from the start of this season...Need to chalk out what’s ideal for us and then get on with our work. We had missed out on the I-League last time. So, a good bit of planning has to be done so that same mistakes are not repeated this time around,” he said on Thursday.

“I am not bothered about what other teams are doing. I want to focus on my own team. Of course, I know Steve (Darby) from a long time. He’s a good friend of mine. I am not really concerned about his activity as a coach, but we share a good rapport,” he said.

On the All India Football Federation’s decision of not allowing I-League players to play more than 40 matches a season, East Bengal coach said such a concept is quite popular in Europe and it won’t be much of a problem for him to adjust. Morgan, however, admitted that for the bigger clubs like, Mohun Bagan and East Bengal, who play over 60 matches a year, the rule might cause some problem.

“Such a system is very popular in Europe, so I consider it as a smart decision. It helps the players to remain fit as they play lesser number of matches. But last year we played 66 matches, and in such cases it’s a bit problematic. The successful clubs want to field their best players, so in that case there will be a bit of juggling. But it’s a welcome move,” Morgan said.

“We have maintained more or less the same team this time, so we are confident of doing well.”

Meanwhile, a midfielder from Scotland Alan Gow has arrived at the East Bengal camp, but his selection depends only on whether he is able to pass the trial successfully.

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