The East Bengal coach backed Anthony Pilkington despite missing a penalty in the first minute of the match…
East Bengal failed to get the better of a 10-men FC Goa side as they managed a 1-1 draw in an Indian Super League (ISL) clash on Friday at the Fatorda Stadium in Goa.
The Red and Golds dominated proceedings in the second half and also had the man advantage after Goa skipper Edu Bedia got sent off in the 65th minute but they failed to win the three points.
Coach Robbie Fowler was understandably frustrated and pointed out that his team have been devoid of luck for two matches in a row.
“We have been massively unlucky. We are a team who have massively improved. Performance-wise, in the second half of the game and in the last game against Mumbai City we were outstanding.
“We have played Goa twice now, who are winners of the league stage last year, and we should have beaten them twice. That shows how well we have done and how well we can be. They (the players) have the attitude we want as the coaching staff,” said the English coach.
Irish attacker Anthony Pilkington had a golden opportunity to put his team in the lead in the very first minute of the game when opposition defender Mohamed Ali had brought down Narayan Das inside the box. But the former Norwich City player failed to convert the spot-kick.
However, Fowler refused to go after the player and backed him as the team’s designated penalty taker.
“(Anthony) Pilkington is our penalty taker,” said the East Bengal coach. “Obviously Bright (Enobakhare) will be the penalty taker when Pilkington is not playing. Let us not have a go at any player for missing a penalty. All the greats of the game have missed penalties. Pilkington was our designated man.”
The former Brisbane Roar manager rued the missed chances but he felt that creating those goal-scoring chances was a major positive for his team.
“The negative is that we haven’t won the game. We dominated the game and had a lot of chances but couldn’t put the ball into the back of the net. There are a lot of positives for us for the next games and we did not score but we had a lot of chances.”
The British coach was in no mood to give up the fight of getting a play-offs spot as he felt hopeful that the Red and Golds will start getting the results.
“There has been a lot of draws in and around us. We are five or six points behind. Until its mathematically impossible to get it, we will keep working and I think we will get results. We are a team capable of getting results. We can play a little bit better. There’s a lot to play for, a lot of points but there other teams in and around us who will think of the same thing,” Fowler signed off.