Panaji (Goa) [India], January 16 (ANI): After having to settle for a 1-1 draw against Kerala Blasters, East Bengal's coach Robbie Fowler said that his side showed a lot of grit and desire after going down in the first half.
Scott Neville's stunning header in the dying minutes of the match helped SC East Bengal salvage a point against Kerala Blasters in the Indian Super League (ISL) at the Tilak Maidan on Friday.
Jordan Murray put Kerala ahead in the 64th minute before Neville's stoppage-time equaliser (90+5) ensured that SCEB extended their unbeaten run to six games. The result mirrored that of the reverse fixture between the two when Kerala had punished SCEB with an injury-time equaliser.
"It is disappointing that we didn't win the game but there are plenty of positives from the game. We didn't lose the game, scored a late equaliser, we could have easily lost a point," said Fowler during the post-match press conference.
"When they scored the goal we lost our shape a little bit. It is understandable, they were trying to chase the game, players were trying to force passes on their own. We played three tough games in six days maybe that was the backend of why we were not on our normal selves in terms of performance. The boys showed a lot of grit and lots of desire. It is a good point," he added.
Fowler also hinted that Kerala Blasters made it difficult for his side by defending in numbers. The East Bengal coach also admitted that his side were never the favourites to win the clash against Kerala.
"It is obviously not ideal, it is not something we planned. We go into every game believing that we can get the right result. They made it difficult for us to put lots of men behind the ball. They played in a shape which made easy for them to defend. It was tough but we got it in the end and that is the main thing," said Fowler.
"Kerala Blasters have been on a good little run themselves as well. Sometimes the opposition plays and sometimes they put you in a lot of pressure. Let's be steady, we have shown what we are all about and we don't give up," he added.
East Bengal is currently at the ninth position in ISL standings with 11 points from 11 matches. The side will next take on Chennaiyin FC on Monday. (ANI)