ISL 2022-23: Stephen Constantine, the head coach of East Bengal FC, was disappointed with the outcome after his team lost to Chennaiyin FC in the Hero Indian Super League (ISL) match on Friday at the Vivekananda Yuba Bharati Krirangan in Kolkata. East Bengal lost for the fourth time this year as Vafa Hakhamaneshi’s goal proved to be the game-winner.
In the second half, according to Constantine, his team should have been ahead 1-0. He claimed that his team struggled to exploit its opportunities. The Englishman reaffirmed that the group should maintain consistency and not panic since they have the ability to change their fortunes. He added that while adjustments are required, they cannot just happen within a few weeks.
Following are some quotes from Constantine’s press conference following the game: In the league, your team has suffered back-to-back defeats. What do you believe is the cause of the matches not going your way? I won’t offer any justifications. We had a few fantastic one-on-one opportunities with the goalkeeper, and we took advantage of one of them to put us up 1-0 at the break. In front of the objective, we must be cautious and take risks. We played poorly in the second period.
We held an advantage over them for around 15 minutes before we also had one of our players sent off. That sort of error is impossible. A difficult game that could result in a third straight loss is coming up after two straight losses. Everyone is running out of time, so we need to be patient and allow the guys some time.
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We need to go back and put in more effort as a remedy. As the coach, it is my duty to ensure that we improve. We must handle the ball with more care. Today, we were engaged in it. Considering that they are a large team, we were playing pretty deep. We provided them with solutions at halftime, and they were successful in the second.
What do you believe is wrong with the forward line that prevented you from going up 2-0 in the first half? To increase those chances, we worked. When a player is two or three times one-on-one with the goalkeeper and doesn’t score, it’s frustrating because we worked so hard on the practise field to get the ball wide and then cross it in. I would be more concerned if we weren’t providing opportunities. We recently dropped a game that we ought to have won. With our mentality, it’s critical that we do well at home. We didn’t; we fell short today, and it’s all right. We continue; we will play Bengaluru FC in our next game.
Five games have been played by your team, and four losses have occurred. Do you believe the team needs to undergo any changes? Despite playing fairly well in the final 15 minutes, we were defeated by Kerala Blasters FC. We dominated FC Goa in the second half of the second game, which we ultimately lost 2-1.
We didn’t play poorly in the first half; rather, we created a few excellent opportunities and failed to take advantage of them, which cost us the game. But We need a lot of work, but I don’t think we’re a poor team. There is undoubtedly room for improvement, and that is what we intend to do beginning on Saturday.
That doesn’t offer much comfort. What are your thoughts?
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It’s not a consolation, I’m saying. I’m telling you the truth because you seem to believe that you can go from having no chance to being a championship contender in three, four, or five games. That never occurs in any league. We received players fairly late in the game who might not have played for the other teams. The players arrived extremely late for us. While everyone else had a month or two head start, we began preseason at the beginning of August. These aren’t justifications. Such are the facts.
As a result, starting late requires you to anticipate problems from the outset, as I have mentioned. More issues will arise for us. But maybe, with patience, we can solve such issues. However, given the start we’ve had, you cannot accomplish it in one week, two weeks, three weeks, four weeks, or even five weeks. It is a fact, not a justification.
How can you comfort them and keep them on board with the team? We are aware that hard labour is required. We are aware that we must improve. We’re making a great effort. We lost a game today that we had a chance to win. You may argue that we had a chance to defeat FC Goa in the second half.
The first matches featured a significant contribution from Alex (Lima). Does it affect your ability to win games when he’s not around? During the opening minute of FC Goa’s second game, Alex suffered an injury. For 75 minutes, he continued. In the next game, we prevailed. We collaborated and played well as a team. He was kept off the squad because of a minor hamstring problem. But Alex is an extremely talented athlete. All of the players, both foreign and Indian, are necessary. Not just one player is involved.