ISL 2020-21 news: 'Some Indian players look like they haven't been coached before', says SC East Bengal's Robbie Fowler

ISL 2020: SC East Bengal coach Robbie Fowler gave a damning assessment of the Indian players' technical quality in the squad after the defeat to Mumbai City FC.

SC East Bengal coach Robbie Fowler during his team's defeat to Mumbai City FC in the ISL.   -  ISL/Sportzpics

SC East Bengal head coach Robbie Fowler said he was devastated after his team's 0-3 defeat to Mumbai City in the Indian Super League (ISL) on Tuesday at the GMC Athletic Stadium in Bambolim.

The result left SCEB bottom of the table after two games with a goal difference of minus five. "Positives [from the game]? Probably wasn't more [than three goals]. We are a new team, who are learning. Lot of our players who can do better. But we are showing glimpses [of good football]. Defensive errors cost us. Players were dragged out of position and made some silly mistakes," Fowler conceded in the post-match presentation.

MATCH REPORT | Mumbai City vs East Bengal

With the poor start to the season, the former Brisbane Roar coach recognises the difficult task at hand to move up the table. He also gave a damning assessment of the Indian players' technical quality in his squad.

"I am devastated myself. I hope players are hurting as much as me. We have to go again in 4-5 days [vs NorthEast United FC]. We are still coaching players, in all honesty, some Indian players look like they haven't been coached before. We trying to get them to play in our system and the intricate passing we do. We have to learn pretty quick. We have to be better," said Fowler.

In the post-match press conference, the former Liverpool FC striker reiterated his point. "We will coach the players because, in all fairness, few of them have probably never been coached before and that is what we are doing. We will try and make our Indian players better and that takes good coaching and I don't think they had had that in the years gone by."

In both the games so far, East Bengal was exposed down the flanks with wing-backs Narayan Das and Surchandara Singh being culpable for defensive errors.

When asked if the team needed reinforcements in those positions, Fowler said, "In all honesty, I will love to have them in all areas of the park. But I can't complain because we have what we have. Individual errors have cost us. The ball over the top in the first game [led to a goal] and same again today [Adam le Fondre's opening goal].

"When you make errors against a quality side you get punished. Two goals conceded today were our mistakes. We have to work and try to lift them [players]."

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ISL 2020 will be televised live at 7.30 pm IST on Star Sports and live streamed on Disney+Hotstar and Jio TV.


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