Panaji (Goa) [India], December 18 (ANI): SC East Bengal assistant coach Tony Grant said that it is "harsh" to evaluate the players on the basis of just five games while adding that things will improve once the team's overall understanding of the game gets better in the Indian Super League.
In the five matches that East Bengal has played so far in the seventh season of the league (ISL), the club has witnessed four defeats and a draw. Having earned just one point, the team is placed at the bottom of the table.
"We've a squad of players like every other team has, and you train them and speak to them. Some players understand you better, some can't. That's life. It happens everywhere. Our players are fine. What has been really tough for them is the two-week period for pre-season training. Six weeks would have benefited them. It's harsh on our players because they were given such a short time.
"It's really harsh to evaluate them on the basis of just five games, but in football you've to evaluate. In general, the players are great lads and are always willing to learn. It's a work-in-progress. The ones who'll really improve and move on are the younger boys. They are like sponges who really want to soak the information up," Grant said during a conversation with sceastbengal.co.
The club on December 11 lodged a complaint with the All India Football Federation (AIFF) against the standards of refereeing in the ISL, a day after SC East Bengal head coach Robbie Fowler had said that he feels his side was playing against 12 men in every game.
Asked about what went wrong in the past five games, Grant said: "I think you can question a lot of things. We know their job is tough, but we can question the officials -- can't we? There have been lots of times when we've been hard done by the officials... Things will improve once the team's overall understanding of the game starts getting better."
As the club prepares for their next game, which is against Kerala Blasters on Sunday, Grant is hoping for the team to give a tough fight to their opponents and secure a victory.
"The team will lift itself up. That won't be a problem. They [KBFC] have had their boys playing together for a longer period, whereas we haven't had a settled team as yet because some people haven't capitalised on their opportunities. We will be up for a fight and hopefully, we will win the game," he said. (ANI)