We aren't a top-six team with the players we have: East Bengal FC’s Stephen Constantine
Head coach Stephen Constantine played down suggestions that East Bengal FC have had a disastrous season in the Hero Indian Super League (ISL) while also admitting that his team haven’t been able to fully meet their expectations after his side suffered their 12th defeat of the campaign with a 0-2 reverse against Chennaiyin FC in Chennai on Sunday.
The Englishman pointed out the five wins his side have managed this campaign which is the most the Red and Golds have managed in a single season.
“The players that we have at the moment don't make us a top-six team. You can't just wish for it if you don't have the players,” he said during the post-match press conference.
“We worked very hard and we have won more games than we have won before. We were on a two-game unbeaten streak coming into this game and considering everything it's not a season that we would have liked to have had but next season we would be better prepared and hopefully, we will be in the top six next season,” he added.
Speaking about the game, Constantine rued the missed chances in the first half that could have changed the complexion of the game and felt the goals they conceded dictated the tempo of the second half.
“I think we didn't score the 2-3 chances that we had and then in the first 5-6 minutes of the second half we concede the goal. After that, we were chasing the game and that leaves you susceptible to the counter-attack which happened for the last goal,” he said.
Teamwork 💯— Indian Super League (@IndSuperLeague) February 12, 2023
What a goal it could've been for @eastbengal_fc! 👀#CFCEBFC #HeroISL #LetsFootball #ChennaiyinFC #EastBengalFC pic.twitter.com/Iefqc8GEGX
East Bengal FC end their season with matches against newly crowned League Shield Winners Mumbai City FC and city rivals ATK Mohun Bagan. Constantine hinted that he would prioritise results over giving chances to some of the reserve players in the final two matches.
“I am all for the development of younger players but we need results. We don't plan to put the reserve team out against Mumbai City FC who are the champions and against ATK Mohun Bagan. That's not possible. We will put the best eleven players we have and look to get something out of these last two games,” he concluded.