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‘Boys showed character’

Calcutta: Kingfisher East Bengal’s defence may look brittle against minnows Chirag United Kerala. But coach Trevor James Morgan is not losing sleep over the side’s ‘sloppy’ defending.

“We were a bit sloppy at the back and the defenders were a bit careless, giving away the ball easily. But there is no need to worry. We will come back stronger in our next game,” said Morgan.

East Bengal’s next encounter is against leaders Dempo SC, who are on a roll courtesy striker Ranty Martins’ goal spree. To make matters worse, the red and gold brigade will miss the services of their central defender Uga Okpara due to a suspension.

However, Morgan informed that the young Raju Gaikwad is fit to play in Friday’s match. “I spoke to Raju… He said that he is okay and will be available for the match. If he can start from the beginning, I think I will play Nirmal as the central defender,” Morgan said.

Asked about the match against Chirag United Kerala, Morgan sounded more relieved than being pleased after his team’s 4-3 win.

“It was a torturous week for us… The players had to travel a lot over the last week and play important matches.

“I am happy with the performance of my players. Even when we were trailing, our players showed character to make a comeback,” he said.

The win helped East Bengal to remain in title contention. Morgan said that his boys are well aware of their responsibility. “I am glad that we are still in the title race,” Morgan said.