The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Subrata blames defence, ref

Calcutta: Just the other day Subrata Bhattacharya did not need excuses. Today, that’s all he can offer.

Tuesday, after bowing 1-2 to East Bengal in their National League match, Bhattacharya said it was because “the referee, as usual, let us down… it was because of him that we conceded that second goal, scored off an off-side.” Difficult to believe that, but, then, it was how the coach saw it. And then he deftly sidestepped the Bhaichung Bhutia issue (as to why he was allowed to stay on for so long).

The dejection in the Bagan coach came to the surface when he said: “Okay we expected to lose this game, but maybe not like this. One just cannot win such matches with such a defence. That must improve.” Just Monday, Bhattacharya had said he found nothing wrong with his defence line.

Subhas Bhowmick, the East Bengal coach, was complaining too, but for his team’s lax few minutes at the start of the second half that allowed Bagan to strike back. “That is what I am worried about, angry about,” he said.

Tuesday, finally, Bhowmick looked relaxed. “I had said that I would be safe with 50 points for title. Now I believe a 46-point total just might take us to the title. Till then, though, I’ll not want to say more than I am happy so far with my boys’ showing.”

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