New Delhi: A much-relieved Subhas Bhowmick was glad his team showed the character to withstand pressure and enter the Durand semi-finals. He felt his team displayed better organisation in both defence and attack and the players carried out their tasks admirably. However, he was critical of the ‘inconsistent’ refereeing by Services’ A. Arjunan and the tough schedule.
The East Bengal coach lashed out at Arjunan, an Armyman from EME Secunderabad. “The refereeing was bad and inconsistent. The penalty kick against us should not have been awarded as Seah dived. Also the referee was needlessly liberal towards Dempo. When Satish Kumar came charging out of the goal and attacked Bhaichung he went scot-free but Kulothungan was shown a yellow card for delaying in stepping back during a free kick.”
Talking about the need to change his playing system from 3-2-5 to 4-4-2 Bhomick said, “I had to win the match and so opted for a back four system and the quick counter-attack as my mode of attack. As I did not have my central midfielders, I used Sur Kumar Singh and Surya Bikash Chakraborty as wing backs and Kulothungan as an attacking central midfielder to lend support to the attack.”
He was happy his team played to a plan. “Kulothungan was asked to play in the centre to ensure that we did not concede goals by quick attacks down the centre. In the second half, when they tired I asked ‘Kulo’ to drift to the flanks and open up play.” Bhowmick also expressed happiness with the man marking by his defence. Suley Musah shackled Sunday Seah and Gawli shadowed R.C. Prakash.
Bhowmick said his players would relax on Friday. “If we reach the final, we will be playing four matches in seven days, which is very demanding.”