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Coach Khalid takes the blame

Calcutta: East Bengal's disappointing end to their I-League campaign has left Khalid Jamil so disconsolate that he couldn't even tell the tenure of his contract with the club.

Asked about his future with the club after East Bengal's ended their campaign with a 1-1 draw with Neroca FC, the coach replied: "I didn't really see the contract..."

Whether Khalid's reply was intentional or said on a serious note is another thing, but it was followed by a roar of laughter at the media conference room.

However, the East Bengal coach added that he would be talking to club officials regarding his future on Friday. In fact, he made no comments about the Super Cup as well, which begins on March 15.

"I'll be going to the club premises tomorrow and then talk with them... Will see what happens... Haven't yet thought of the next assignment," Khalid said.

He, however, put the entire blame on himself after East Bengal finished fourth in the league table. "The coach is the only one who's responsible. Players tried hard, so did the officials. But my planning was not up to the mark. It's because of my mistakes that we couldn't win the league," lamented last year's I-League-winning coach.

To be fairer to East Bengal, despite the missed chances, they deserved to get one penalty towards the end when Neroca's Saran Singh clearly handled Katsumi Yusa's corner kick inside the box. That was overlooked by the linesman.

Khalid made no comments about the refereeing. Rather, it appeared he had completely lost interest in commenting, but East Bengal captain Arnab Mondal was visibly upset.

"I just don't want any more dissection. But when it comes to not giving us the penalty, the referee claimed his vision got obstructed. And the linesman almost called for it, only to change his mind... Really disgusted," Arnab said.

Meanwhile, finishing with eight goals, Dudu Omagbemi confirmed he will be back after a few days to join the Super Cup squad.

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