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Have patience, pleads Mehtab

Calcutta: East Bengal captain Mehtab Hussain pleaded for patience after the team’s downslide continued unabated.

“I would plead for patience. Yes, our performance is not up to the desired level. But the good sign is that we are creating chances. Sometimes in football it happens… You keep on creating chances, but fail to convert. That we are creating chances itself is a positive sign. How many teams create chances like we do? How many did Churchill Brothers create on Tuesday? Not even one,” Mehtab said on Wednesday.

A pathetic East Bengal were held by Churchill Brothers at the Salt Lake Stadium, and face a stern away test against Dempo Sports Club on Sunday.

A furious East Bengal coach Armando Colaco blasted his players at the post-match media conference on Tuesday and said he had too many selfish players and admitted there was discontent in the dressing room.

Mehtab said he has no idea who the selfish players are, but said sometimes he also goes for personal glory. “It happened with me. I went for a long-ranger when I could have played the ball to someone else in a better position. That doesn’t mean I am a selfish player. But I must add that you can gauge well when you are watching from the sidelines,” Mehtab added.

Mehtab agreed that poor planning during the pre-season has hampered East Bengal’s progress.

“Our pre-season was bad, to be very honest. But if somebody says that Edeh Chidi, Uga Okpara or James Moga’s late arrival made it difficult for us then I am not buying that. Last year also Uga and Chidi came late, but (Trevor James) Morgan Sir brought them to shape within 21 days. It’s the coach’s job.

“Unfortunately we did not have the right man when the season started. Now Armando Sir is trying his best. But you have to understand he got the job in the middle of the season.”

East Bengal replaced Morgan with Brazilian Marcos Falopa, but the coach failed to adjust to the idea of football in Calcutta and was shown the exit door in November last year.

Mehtab said the match against Dempo would be crucial. East Bengal had lost the home match in Kalyani and Marcos Falopa was at the helm.

“Yes, it will be crucial for us. We lost the home match and we will have to beat them in Goa. Otherwise, it will be difficult catching up with pace-setters Bengaluru FC and Pune FC,” he said.