SC East Bengal assistant coach admitted Tony Grant feels that none of the Indian players in the squad have enough quality to compete in the ISL, which was one of the reasons for the disastrous outing. The ‘red and gold’ brigade will play their last match against Odisha FC this weekend.
Apart from a few pockets, SC East Bengal’s performance has been largely disappointing this season, having registered only three wins in 19 matches so far. Even in the last game against Northeast United FC, they succumbed to a 1-2 defeat, including an own goal and were reduced to 10-men in the 71st minute of the game.
While the foreigners have not been up to the mark, they have shown promise in certain phases, which was not enough to inspire their season as a whole. On the other hand, the Indian players have largely failed to find their foot, lacked quality and were ill-at-ease throughout.
SC East Bengal head coach Tony Grant feels that none of the Indian players had the quality to play in the Indian Super League, with the team initially built to compete in the I-League.
"We tried young players, we had Jeje (Lalpekhlua) upfront and none of them had enough (quality), they never had enough. So recruitment is always key and these are the players we have had all season and this is the best they have looked. We weren't ready early in the season, now they had a chance and they had to show us but they couldn't show us (what they got),” said Tony Grant, after the loss to Northeast United FC.
"You have to be honest about football. Sometimes you have to make decisions. This team was put together for the I-League. We came in with two weeks with all these players. Most of these players have not played. I have been looking at the Indian U-23s and 19s to see how many East Bengal players they have in their squads and I can't find any. We need to be aggressive in the transfer market,” added the official.