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Under-pressure East Bengal coach Trevor Morgan on Sunday said he did not want to turn up for their I-League game against DSK Shivajians match after what transpired over the week, apparently referring to the brawl that took place at the club tent two days back.
DSK Shivajians handed East Bengal their fourth defeat on the trot to all but knock them out of title contention in the I-League.
A spate of underwhelming displays spilled over on Friday morning at East Bengal's training where supporters protested vehemently asking for Morgan's head.
Goalkeeper T.P. Rehenesh made an obscene gesture towards the crowd which further infuriated the fans. East Bengal officials subsequently sent the Kerala player for a "break."
"It's very difficult to motivate players under these circumstances," Morgan told reporters at the end of the game here.
East Bengal have 27 points from 16 games while title contenders Mohun Bagan and Aizawl have 33 each in their kitty.
"I have always loved football, but this is the first time I have really sort of not looked forward to a game given what's going on this week. The performance that the players put in tonight, it was very good," he added.
East Bengal got a raft of chances but Shivajians keeper Subrata Paul was in inspired form pulling off a string of saves to keep the more fancied rivals at bay.
"I know we didn't win but we created many opportunities. Subrata had a good game tonight, made a top class save from Rowlin in the second half.
"I hate losing any game. We have lost four games on the trot, it's not nice. It's not nice losing any game. But atleast tonight we lost the right way. We lost trying to win. The other games we lost, I have questioned the players' character and their attitude but today I don't question them. They gave everything they had given it's been a really difficult week," the Briton said.
Morgan, who was in charge of the side previously between 2010-2013, hailed his first stint saying the club is going through a difficult phase this time and the supporters seemed to be only coming to the ground to criticise.
"We are going through a bad time this time. Previously, the time was good. Now people don't come and watch the game and those who do criticise. Having said that, we have to turn it around," he said.
Morgan praised his players for staying focussed despite their minds being "at some other place" after what happened at the club tent with supporters protesting violently over the week.
"It's been a difficult week and the minds have been at a different place. I am happy for the players as well. For them to put forward this performance on the back of what has been going on this week, I have happy with what they gave us."
East Bengal have two matches to play before the end the season.
(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)