East Bengal FC head coach Carles Cuadrat expressed his disappointment after his team suffered a narrow loss to a formidable FC Goa side at the Kalinga Stadium in Bhubaneswar on Saturday. East Bengal FC took the lead with a goal by Mahesh Naorem in the 41st minute, but it wasn't enough as they conceded two quick goals from Sandesh Jhingan and Victor Rodriguez within a few minutes in the second half and struggled to recover from there on.

Reflecting on the result, Cuadrat appeared visibly dejected but also displayed a glimmer of hope for future matches. He acknowledged that his team found it challenging to manage the mental aspect of the game after taking the lead in the first half.

It was working very well for us in the first half, we were following the match plan,” Cuadrat said in the post-match press conference.

“We were trying to go in front and trying to be compact in the defence, but it is true that in the second half, we started to lose the ball very easily. We were trying to cover half of the pitch with Nishu (Kumar) and Borja (Herrera) in the middle of the pitch trying to help Saul (Crespo), but just the set-piece changed everything and then we switched off for a few minutes and it is incredible that they scored the goals within one minute. I think that we are in the middle of a new project with a lot of new players. I think that we need to find the maturity to manage the game better. I think that this was a very tough lesson for us."

East Bengal FC, after remaining unbeaten in their first two games, has now faced back-to-back defeats. Cuadrat emphasised the need for mental readiness in handling different match situations.

"We don't have a lot of time between games so we have to be ready to manage that kind of game from the mental side," he added. "I want to convince my players that we will get better at managing games against tough teams like FC Goa and Bengaluru FC."

Cuadrat acknowledged positive aspects of the game for his team, despite the defeat, and called for patience from the fans.

"We have to understand that this is a new team with a new coach and new tactics. I accept that we need to be more active and be confident. My message to the fans is to be patient because in this game and the last few games, I saw some good moments from the team and I was happy with those moments. There is a lot to learn from these last few games," Cuadrat concluded.