ISL 2020-21 news: We were the better team, says East Bengal coach Fowler after defeat

ISL 2020: After the defeat against NorthEast United FC, SC East Bengal stood rooted at the bottom of the points table after three matches.

SC East Bengal manager Robbie Fowler speaks about his team's loss to NorthEast United FC at the post-match interview.

SC East Bengal manager Robbie Fowler felt his team was the better side on Saturday night despite the 0-2 loss against NorthEast United FC in a 2020-21 Indian Super League match at the Tilak Maidan.

"We're actually having a tough time in terms of results. Our performance tonight was probably our worst of the season. But I think we should have got more from the game. We were the better team," Fowler said, after the game.

East Bengal was denied two penalty appeals during the game which Fowler said was the main reason for the defeat.

"We should have had two clear-cut penalties. If we had gotten those and scored, the game would have changed dramatically. We're obviously disappointed but there's not much we can do."

READ | ISL 2020-21: Unbeaten NorthEast moves second with win over East Bengal

The former Liverpool FC player then claimed the poor refereeing standards on display could hamper ISL's growth.

"We know that the referees have a hard job to do. But when you talk about some of the decisions today, it can't happen. You're talking about professional football. Some decisions were really amateur. These can't keep happening because we're going to have people talking about the league for all the wrong reasons. I rest my case," he added.

The 45-year-old, who coached A-League outfit Brisbane Roar last season, said his team hasn't been able to train efficiently due to the excessive travel involved within the bio-bubble.

"Everything seems to be against us at the moment. You see decisions on the pitch, losing our captain (Daniel Fox). Our own game is a two-hour drive to the stadium. We are up against it. Again, I'm not making excuses.

"These are reasons as to why we can't train as much as we want to. You can't have the players on the bus for four hours a day. But we've got to work with what we've got and it's a tough ask."

-Fowler wants VAR in ISL-

Unhappy with what he called some “blatant” refereeing decisions against his side, Fowler has called for the introduction of video assistant referral (VAR) in ISL.

“I thought the decision (of not giving penalties) were blatant. Certainly the first one in the first half was clear-cut. The second one, for me, was clear cut as well,” Fowler said.

“Referees might need a bit of help, I know they are doing a tough job. When you get two blatant penalties wrong like that, it is tough to take for a manager. I’m going to say ‘yes’ (for VAR),” Fowler said.

The VAR was introduced by the world football governing body in 2018 and since then it has copped questions whether it was improving or damaging the beautiful game.

The Liverpool legend, however, admitted that he was “not a huge fan of VAR“.

“I think it slows the game at times,” he said.

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