The Telegraph
Sunday , September 30 , 2012
Since 1st March, 1999
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‘We cannot let the fans down’

Trevor James Morgan

Siliguri: For Trevor James Morgan, the last 90 minutes doesn’t have any relevance. “It’s all about the next 90 minutes,” he tells you. “If you start thinking too much about what happened, then how will you make things happen,” is the mantra of the East Bengal coach.

“Look, my boys had a great 45 minutes against Churchill Brothers. Now, if they think only about that, how can they play the next 90 minutes against Dempo… So, the sooner you flush out what happened, the better you will be able to perform in the next match,” a fast-talking Morgan explained.

Sunday is a big day for Kingfisher East Bengal. They are playing the Federation Cup final against Dempo SC, who do not have that much of a record in the tournament. “That makes them more dangerous. They are a set team… Armando Colaco is a very good tactician,” he warns.

“Sunday is a big day I agree... The stadium will be packed… There will be expectations from the fans… Many have come all the way from Calcutta to watch this match. They will be expecting us to win. We cannot let them down… After all, it’s because of these fans that we are playing,” Morgan said.

Morgan believes winning is the most important thing in sports. “Winning a championship is very important. Nobody remembers how you played in the semi-final... It’s all about how you perform in the final… I don’t mind if we win ugly... It’s not possible to win every match playing beautiful football. Sometimes, you have to slug it out to bring home those precious three points,” he said.

The Englishman’s energy level is very infectious. Mehtab Hossain agreed. “It’s a very positive thing... Someone with so much energy… Always egging you on. I am a transformed footballer since he came to East Bengal in 2010,” Mehtab said. “In the beginning, the way he worked on me was amazing. We are lucky to have someone like him,” he added.

Talking about his energy, it can be gauged if you sample this... On Saturday, the morning practice session over and having done with the mandatory media conference, Morgan drove to the East Bengal academy at Rajgunj, in Jalpaiguri. And according to a club official, Morgan was very impressed with what he saw. “But he has asked us to work harder,” the official said.

So what makes this man survive at a club which is notorious for getting rid of coaches at the drop of a hat? “He is a player’s coach,” says Ishfaq Ahmed. Morgan had put his foot down and forced the reluctant club officials to rope in this Kashmiri.

Ishfaq further revealed that he himself, Edeh Chidi and most of the new signings moved to East Bengal because they wanted to play under Morgan. “And in two-and-a-half months we are feeling as if we have played under him for three years!”

It’s not that just being players’ coach made Morgan tick in East Bengal. The trophies that the club won — six in two seasons — have given him a firm footing.

And on Sunday, if the red and gold brigade have the final hurrah, it will be another feather in the Morgan’s cap. But Morgan credits the players for whatever he has achieved here. “Credit goes always to my boys... Here, we are in Federation Cup final again… It’s because of them.”