Robbie Fowler was not impressed with Indian Super League (ISL) 2020-21 pundit and former NorthEast United FC and Kerala Blasters manager Eelco Schattorie after the latter commented on the lack of depth in SC East Bengal. SC East Bengal rallied twice at the back of Matti Steinmann to earn a 2-2 draw with Chennaiyin FC at the Tilak Maidan on Saturday to temporarily climb up a position from the foot of the points table.
Steinmann scored in the 59th and 68th minute to cancel out Lallianzuala Chhangte's 13th minute goal and Rahim Ali's strike in the 64th minute to help SC East Bengal through to a third consecutive draw.
While discussing the gameplay of both East Bengal and Chennaiyin FC in the post-match show, Schattorie pointed out the lack of depth in Fowler's squad and how they were stretched by Chennaiyin FC on the wings. SC East Bengal were the latest entrants into the ISL ahead of this season and had very little time to get together the squad. Fowler did not take Schattorie's criticism kindly and said it was "rich" of him to stand in the studio and comment on his team
"I wanna win every game. The pundit you've got (Schattorie) said we lack depth but we're working with what we've got. It's easy to say these things, it's rich of you to say that, we know we lack depth but we have to work with that," Fowler stated.
Schattorie defended himself by saying it was his job to look at the match objectively and added that he also praised Fowler for his change in formation in the second half that contributed to his team playing better football. However, Fowler was not ready to mince his words.
"I am not making excuses, I am giving you reasons, we are giving everything. We are just playing catch-up and that includes games. Instead of sitting there and saying we could have done this, look at the positives, everyone's just criticising this team. We have had to do perhaps more than others and we deserve credit for that," he added.
Fowler further said that his team gave him everything in the second half and they certainly did not deserve to lose on Saturday.
"There are things that don't go to plan. We have plan A and plan B. First half wasn't our best but Rafique had a great chance. We made a little change at half time and the players gave me everything. Had we lost, it would have been injustice to us. I don't say we deserved to win but certainly, we didn't deserve to lose."
Chennaiyin FC head coach Csaba Laszlo, on the other hand, rued missed chances and said it was painful to see his players not punish the opponents despite create so many chances.
"To be honest, I am destroyed even giving the interview. In the defence, we were okay, East Bengal had only a few chances. To concede two goals from set pieces, I am not okay, we have to talk about it. But missing chances in the offence is frustrating. Anyway, I don't give up, I stay with my players but you suffer if you miss chances like that. It is painful, we keep going and training but it's not enough, you have to be clinical and that's what I am missing. You have to go and be clinical.
"I saw the change in formation (from East Bengal in the second half) and asked Memo to stay deeper. We didn't win not because they changed the formation but because we conceded from set pieces. We must be more aggressive. We created so many chances even after conceding but the small things are not there. I am a human who don't (sic) like to lose but I am also realistic, at least we have a point, but it is a painful blow," Laszlo expressed.