Calcutta: Trevor James Morgan is not in the hot seat anymore, but the shadow of the Briton still looms large at the East Bengal camp.
Most of the questions lobbed at the present coach, Marcos Falopa, and captain Mehtab Hussain, on the eve of their AFC Cup quarter final first-leg tie against Semen Padang, were on Morgan.
While Mehtab handled those questions smartly, Falopa, at times, looked agitated.
The Brazilian though has reasons to be upset. Ever since he came to East Bengal, every time he speaks to the media, the name ‘Morgan’ inevitably crops up. “He did a wonderful job. It’s a new set-up and we promise to do better. I will not say anything more,” was Falopa’s riposte when someone asked about his predecessor’s influence on this team.
Morgan was amused. “It’s funny that I am still being discussed in Calcutta. The media there is very nagging. They will be after you. You have to deal with them carefully. When I first came in 2010, I was amazed by the number of reporters who turned up every morning and asked me for a quote.
“If you lose your temper, then you are gone. In hindsight, sometimes I miss that madness,” Morgan told The Telegraph from Mumbai.
The Briton, at present, is working with the players who have been signed for the proposed franchise-based league. The camp ends on Friday and he leaves for Perth soon after.
Morgan, however, backed his Brazilian successor. “It’s a new set-up in East Bengal... A new coach comes with his idea of football. Players also will take time to adapt. He hasn’t come with any magic wand. Leave him alone.
“Give him some breathing space. I do not understand why people are comparing Falopa with me… Why can’t people understand that this man has just come…” Morgan said.
The man who changed East Bengal’s outlook towards football follows his former club’s fortunes closely. “Yeah, I keep a tab on what’s happening in East Bengal. I am still in touch with some of the players. I am told that their AFC Cup match will not be telecast live… It’s sad,” he said.
One of the most successful coaches of East Bengal, Morgan said a loss in the quarter finals will not be the end of the world.
“It’s ridiculous to say a loss will be end of the world for East Bengal. They will still have nine months to play for. ”
Morgan doesn’t buy the idea that it would have been better for East Bengal if the second leg was played at the Salt Lake Stadium. “It’s rubbish… How does it matter? The idea is to treat the first of a double-legged match as the first half.
“So after the first leg you will have an idea about what you would have to do in the next. I will suggest the boys to play their normal game and not think too much. Sometimes if you think too much, it may clutter your thoughts”.
Precious words of advice East Bengal players must listen to!