East Bengal club officials decided to cut down on their budget and put pressure on head coach Trevor Morgan to perform by sacking his coaching staff comprising of assistant Warren Hackett and goalkeeping coach Abhijit Mondal.
Morgan, who in his second spell at the club, has faced serious flak from within the management after a disappointing recent run in the 2017 I-League which has seen theRed and Goldspick only eight points from as many games.
The tipping point of the iceberg arrived last Sunday when they went down 2-1 at the hands of arch-rivals Mohun Bagan in the Kolkata derby and fell behind the title race by three points with three games to go.
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After the team arrived from Siliguri on Monday, Morgan met with club officials Santosh Bhattacharya and Debabrata Sarkar to discuss the dwindling results and was reprimanded for his comments to the media showing displeasure over squad selection.
In what was a steamy affair, Morgan apparently answered all queries put in front of him, ranging from the media outbursts and his team selections during important games.
The club then decided to part ways with Hackett and Mondal with the former already serving a four-game touchline suspension. It will now only be Morgan who will helm the team for the remaining three league games.
Football Secretary Santosh Bhattacharya made it clear that East Bengal did not want to part ways with Morgan as he was tied down to a contract which runs until 31st May 2017. However, he made it clear that they could have a change of mind before the Federation Cup starts from 7th May, conditional to how Morgan performs in the last three games.
"Right now, no. We won't like to part ways with coach Morgan as he has a contract until 31st May. We have requested him to take us to a respectable position in the last three games of the I-League. But, situations change quickly in football. We will be scrutinising him before the Federation Cup begins," said Bhattacharya.
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It seems Morgan also requested the club to take a disciplinary action on Willis Plaza who punched defender Anas Edathodika and got himself a red card during the 66th minute of the high-voltage Kolkata derby last Sunday.
Executive committee member Debabrata 'Nitu' Sarkar lashed out on the Trinidad and Tobago forward. "Morgan has told us to impose some extra fine on him. It is shocking that he would get himself a red card in such a crunch game. It is really not expected from a professional player," he said.
The internal battles within the club ranks continued as Sarkar, in turn, blamed Mehtab Hossain after the midfielder questioned the intent of the foreign players in the squad.
"To some extent, it is the fault of Mehtab and the other seniors as well. When some foreigners come to the club, it should be their responsibility to tell them the ethos of the club and the importance of the derby. He should have done that first. It is not right of him to comment such," Sarkar commented.
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East Bengal host DSK Shivajians at the Barasat Stadium on Sunday. They will host Minerva Punjab next weekend before rounding off the season at Mumbai FC on the last matchday of the 2017 I-League.