Grant happy with SC East Bengal improvement despite late draw

SC East Bengal were held to a 1-1 draw by Hyderabad FC in Match 91 of Hero Indian Super League (Hero ISL) 2020-21 at the Tilak Maidan Stadium in Vasco on Friday. Bright Enobakhare gave the Kolkata-based club the lead but Aridane Santana grabbed the all-important equaliser for Hyderabad FC in second half-injury time.

At the post-match press conference, SC East Bengal assistant coach Anthony Grant was disappointed with the final result but believes that his team now has what it takes to compete with the top teams in the league. “It’s tough to concede right at the end. I thought we were always in control. It was just one instance [Santana’s late goal]. It’s harsh to take. But this shows that we are not a million miles away from competing with the teams in the top four,” he said.

SC East Bengal took time to settle into the Hero ISL after a short pre-season before signing many new players during the January transfer window and Grant heaped praise on two players particularly. “It took us a long time to bring the right players in. I thought Sourav Das was excellent once again, even Sarthak Golui. These are players we would have recruited if we had the chance to. In the last 11 games, you can see the gradual improvement,” he said.

Grant also spoke highly of another new-signing Enobakhare, who scored his third goal of the season. “We all know that Bright is a superb player. He is a special player. He will get more chances in the team and he will help us pick up more points. This is because the team is improving as a whole,” he said.

Watch Tony Grant's Post-Match Press conference here:

Meanwhile, Hyderabad FC’s head coach Manuel Marquez was satisfied with a point but bemoaned their missed chances prior to SC East Bengal’s goal. “We are satisfied because we equalised the game in the last moment. But I think that again we were unable to score before the opponent. But we got one important point,” Marquez said.

Although they are currently in the top four, Hyderabad FC have tough opponents like ATK Mohun Bagan and FC Goa to deal with going forward. Marquez was proud of his players for bringing the team this far. “We are nearing the end of the league stages. We have only three games left. Of course, it is difficult to win the games. We play against FC Goa and ATK Mohun Bagan. We will continue fighting. I am very proud because we are in the fight for the top four with three matches left,” he said.

Watch Manuel Marquez's Post-Match Press conference here:


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