SC East Bengal head coach Robbie Fowler has sought to clear the air about what he meant when he said that some Indian players in the side looked like they hadn’t been coached before. The comment came on the back of a 3-0 defeat against Mumbai City FC in the Indian Super League (ISL) and drew a lot of flak from some quarters.
Addressing the media ahead of his side’s match tonight against NorthEast United, the Liverpool legend claimed that his quote had been taken ‘out of context quite a lot’. “We know about social media and the good things and bad things about it. My comments were directed at my team. We’re obviously trying to play a certain way. My objective is to coach the team to the best of my ability and we have an intricate way of playing. We have an identity and a philosophy and my players haven’t been coached in this way before,” Fowler said when asked if he wanted to elaborate on the statement.
He went ahead and also explained why he would never aim to disrespect anyone with such comments. “I understand why some people may take it in the wrong context. There are lots and lots of good players in India but sometimes players need a better understanding of the game. And that’s not me being derogatory towards them, that’s me being a realist and trying to better the system,” he expressed.
Speaking about the challenges that his team has had to face till now, Fowler said, “Of course our preparation hasn’t been ideal because we entered the league at a later stage. We need to put in the hours in training and improve the areas that we are lacking in. But we are getting there”.
About the match against NorthEast, the former England international admitted to having a few injuries because of which there may be some changes. “NorthEast haven’t been defeated in the league yet so we know they are a good, compact side. But we have a way of playing which we have to stick to. We also have to cut out the individual mistakes that we’ve been making. We know we’re in for a tough game but we’ve already played two of the toughest teams in the league. So the boys are up for the challenge and I truly believe that with time we’ll play some great football and get the points in,” Fowler said with optimism.