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Armando seeking a leader

Calcutta: Winless in their last three I-League matches, East Bengal coach Armando Colaco rues the lack of a “leader” in his team.

East Bengal are currently placed eighth in the points table. Bengaluru FC are in the lead with 31 points from 17 matches. Colaco’s team have 20 points from 14 matches and their title hopes are almost over. After Wednesday’s practice session, Colaco said: “We don’t have a leader in the team… We need someone who can motivate the side… That plays an important role in the dressing room as well.”

The former Dempo SC coach cited the example Brazilian Beto to make his point. “Look at Beto in Dempo… He leads the side, motivates it. Earlier too there were players like Mahesh Gawli and Climax Lawrence in Dempo… You have to think for the team,” Colaco said. On Mehtab Hussain, Colaco said: “He is a very good player… But he needs to grow more as a player and fit into different roles.”

East Bengal had to be satisfied with a 1-1 draw in their last I-League match — against Mohun Bagan. They were leading but an error by goalkeeper Gurpreet Singh Sandhu cost them full points from that match. According to Colaco, a Derby is not the most important match as one should rather focus on the entire league. “I know there’s disappointment whenever a Derby result doesn’t go in your favour… But a Derby is not the most important match… There’s the entire league,” he said.

Colaco also feels that his team isn’t playing well in the second half. “We are not really getting things right in the second half… There’s a lack of understanding. We need to rectify that,” the coach said.