The Telegraph
Monday , March 22 , 2010
Since 1st March, 1999
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De Ridder’s contract unlikely to be renewed

Calcutta: East Bengal authorities are unhappy with coach Phillippe de Ridder’s handling of the team and it is unlikely that his contract will be renewed.

Although a section among the influential officials was of the opinion that De Ridder should be handed the pink slip with immediate effect, a consensus was not reached. With only nine matches being left in the I-League, and the title well out of reach, it didn’t make any sense to bring a new coach.

“If the team doesn’t win at least five out of the remaining nine matches and can’t ensure a top five finish, De Ridder’s contract won’t be extended. We don’t entirely blame him as he didn’t get a good team. But the authorities are not happy with his team compositions. Whatever be the situation, not winning for the last 10 matches isn’t a good thing,” an executive committee member told The Telegraph on Sunday.

The coach himself feels that fatigue is one of factors for his team’s under-performance. “We are playing too many matches and players are not getting enough rest. Also I don’t have too many replacements for my first team players. It can’t get any worse than this. Let’s hope we can finish as high as possible.”

However, De Ridder’s explanations don’t hold good.

Meanwhile, former India player Godfred Perreira, who is now the observer-cum-mentor of Air India, said something which won’t be music to the ears of the red and gold fans. “This is the worst East Bengal team in recent times,” he said.

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