Shillong Lajong are a relatively young side, and that was abundantly clear when they came up against the experienced East Bengal, who completely routed them 4-0.

However, when asked if it is the inexperience that spelled doom for his team at the Barasat Stadium, Shillong Lajong coach Thangboi Singto said that inexperience may be an issue, but the young players need to perform well, in order to keep playing for the team.

“They’re young boys, but they need to learn learn quickly, they need to fight. They are put in the first XI, or the 18, so we believe that they can do something,” said Singto after the match. “So when given a chance, they need to prove [themselves]. Otherwise its tough for them, and tough for the team.”

The 41-year-old manager seemed quite irritated after the heavy defeat to East Bengal, and said that his side needs to play well and take the chances that they create, in order to get something out of games like these.

“I think is in the first half we would have taken our chances [the result might have been different]. It’s about chances. East Bengal took all their chances and scored, and we could have scored from our chances,” said Singto. “I think that was the difference today. But I think there were times when we played quite well, creating our chances. But for most of the game, it was not getting the goals, that hampered us.”

‘Ranti made all the difference’

A first half hattrick from East Bengal’s Nigerian star Ranti Martins was what had sunk Shillong Lajong’s chances at the end of the day. Singto acknowledged the sheer quality of Ranti, and said that he has always been one of the best strikers plying their trade in India.

“Yeah, definitely I think he [Ranti Martins] made the difference. As I mentioned, he has always been one of the top strikers in Indian football, so the goals he scored are of individual brilliance,” said Singto.

Image Courtesy: Wikimedia Commons

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