Hyderabad FC head coach Thangboi Singto expressed pride in his players despite his team's defeat to East Bengal FC in their Indian Super League (ISL) 2023-24 opener at the Vivekananda Yuba Bharati Krirangan in Kolkata on Saturday.

A stoppage-time goal by Cleiton Silva made the difference as East Bengal FC emerged as winners with a narrow 2-1 scoreline. Hyderabad FC had managed to keep East Bengal FC at bay until the winning goal and had been on course for a point in Kolkata. Reflecting on the result, Singto declined to assign blame and emphasized the need for his team to focus on improving their performance through training.

"As a team, there is no one to be blamed. There are things which we can do better, and we are working towards it. After significant changes in the club, I think we need a bit more time, but again, the next match is coming up," he said in the pre-match press conference.

Regarding the team's performance, Thangboi expressed pride in the effort put in by his team during the match.

"Overall, I am proud of the boys as a team. I think today, as a team performance, we could not have done more than this," he stated.

Hyderabad FC goalkeeper Laxmikant Kattimani was substituted in the first half after a collision. Singto provided an update on his condition while also mentioning that the exact assessment would depend on reports from the Hyderabad FC medical team.

"I just came to know that Katti is better. Initially, we thought it was very serious. He was bleeding, but I just came to know from the medical team that he is slightly better. But we will know his real condition once we get the information from the medical team, but hopefully, he is much better," he said.

Singto also discussed the mental fortitude of his team and acknowledged their fighting spirit on the pitch. He accepted that his team was defeated by a moment of individual brilliance from East Bengal FC striker Silva.

"We always train the players not only physically but also aim to train them to be mentally strong. Despite no rain, it was quite humid, and it was quite challenging. I think both teams, East Bengal FC and Hyderabad FC, fought, but ultimately, you can say that the brilliance of one player, Cleiton Silva, made a difference."