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The East Bengal head coach has backed under fire defender Scott Neville and hailed him as a fantastic player…

East Bengal have had a terrible start to their campaign in their maiden season in the Indian Super League (ISL) as they are yet to register a win in their first five matches and are placed at the bottom of the league table.

The Red and Golds had managed to score their first ever goal in the ISL in their last match against Hyderabad and had even taken the lead in the first half. But poor defending allowed Hyderabad to come back into the game and snatch away the three points from the Red and Golds.

Their next opponent Kerala Blasters have been going through a similar rough patch in ISL this season as the Men in Yellow too are yet to register a win. Ahead of facing the Tuskers, East Bengal coach Robbie Fowler suggested that he is eyeing three points and expects his team to improve from what they were playing in the last few matches.

“The strategy is always to try and win games. So regardless of what formation we play, it does not really matter. Players move 10 yards and the formation becomes different anyway. But what we want to do is control the games and we want to win games. We need to be a little bit better. The concentration levels need to be better. Formation to me does not really matter. We go out there with the belief we can win games and we have shown that in a lot of games in glimpses that we can compete.”

The British coach remained optimistic before facing Blasters as he suggested that positive results will come very soon.

“I won’t say that we are not doing well. We are competing in games. There is no doubt that the lack of preparation is there, we are many weeks behind other teams. But you got to remember this that we are a brand new club coming into the ISL. Lots of other teams have been preparing for seven, eight years, some teams one or two years and we had two weeks. Preparation has not been ideal, but we knew how tough it would be and we are working hard to try and get where we need to be. Results for me are not too far away. It will come sooner rather than later.”

East Bengal Jamshedpur ISL Scott Neville Nerijus Valskis

Australian defender Scott Neville has received a lot of flak from various corners after Hyderabad FC’s Liston Colaco got the better of him during the third goal. Despite all the criticism, Fowler backed the defender and also mentioned that he considers him as one of the best players in the team and a lot of other players can learn from him.

“Scott Neville has been absolutely fantastic since he came into this club. He and Danny Fox are by far the best defenders we have. Players will have tough times in games but for me he has been first class in terms of attitude and his desire is incredible. Lots of players can learn from him,” said the former Brisbane Roar coach.

The Liverpool great felt that it is the duty of every footballer to motivate themselves before they take the field and always have the right attitude on the pitch.

“It is not hard for me to motivate them,” said the East Bengal coach. “ (But) The players have to motivate themselves as well. There can be tough times, but it is up to the players to go out on the pitch and do it. There is no good in moaning and saying the coach doesn’t motivate us. Have a little bit of a better attitude, go out there and motivate yourself.

“We can do whatever we can, and we have been doing that, but the players cannot give in, I am not talking about our club or any player in particular but all over the world. If any player goes into a football match with the wrong attitude, then he should not be playing football. You have to go into every game with the belief that you are better than the opposition.”

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December 19, 2020