Calcutta: It may not be the happiest Christmas for East Bengal, but coach Subhas Bhowmick is in no mood to repent. “Yes, a victory in at least one of the games would have left us in a much better position, but still we are at the top,” Bhowmick said on his return from Chennai Wednesday.
East Bengal drew both their away games against Vasco and Indian Bank and are now on 18 points from seven games. Dempo are a point behind, but a victory in their match against JCT Thursday will see them at the top at the end of the first eight rounds. The National Football League then goes into a break for the Durand Cup, IFA Shield and SAAF Cup.
However, the prospect of surrendering the lead for the first time in the NFL this season does not bother the maverick coach.
“Only one-third of the league is complete and no clear picture of the league has emerged. There is still a lot to go,” the coach said.
But the number of goals (five in three games) conceded by his team is not quite to the liking of Bhowmick. “Yes, the defence has been caught napping a few times on the counter and we will have to think about it,” he said.
The injury to dependable defender Dipak Mondal has put Bhowmick in a spot of bother. “An MRI of his injury will be done Thursday. Then only it can be told for how long he will be out,” he added.
Talking of the positives that have emerged from the tour, Bhowmick said: “Not many teams in the country can fight back after being down 0-2 and 1-3 down. The spirit of the team is really heartening,” the coach signed off.