The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Bhowmick’s ‘away’ agenda

Calcutta: Having made a deep impact on home front, East Bengal coach Subhas Bhowmick is bracing for a whole new battle in the National Football League (NFL). The focus for the current leaders (16 points from six matches) has now shifted away from home and Subhas knows the battle is going to get tougher as the league progresses.

His route to success seems simple, yet full of ifs and buts. “I need to win at least 10 matches in the NFL and the rest can then be played for draw. But I have a long way to go…”, he said at the club tent Monday.

Keeping this in mind, Subhas did make it a point that he would aim for a win and a draw in the next two away matches. As he put it, “my target is four points”.

East Bengal will face Vasco SC in Goa on Thursday and three days later, Indian Bank in Chennai. Though he didn’t divulge his plans, it seems apparent he will target the Chennai outfit for full points. Subhas, however, apologised for his involvement in a verbal war with the spectators after his team’s 2-1 win over Salgaocar in the last match on Sunday.

“I didn’t come to coaching to propitiate anybody. I have a definite purpose with my team and to me, it’s always better to get a point than losing a match,” he said. If this is ‘Big Phil’ attitude, Subhas was quick to add that he had been constantly subjected to misinterpretation by a section of the media.

“One plus point of my team is that it is running till the end. But you need to be cautious in a league which is long and demanding,” he observed. “People need to understand that there are ups and downs in one’s performance. However, I have been criticised for wrong reasons and the growing impatience and faultfinding attitude from a section of people has made me wonder whether we have actually played our home matches on home turf,” he said.

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