Finishing 18th in a 20-team event does not provide them a chest-thumping opportunity but East Bengal’s U-15 team returned to India from the Nike-sponsored Manchester United Premier Cup with words of praise from English football legend Sir Bobby Charlton. “This time, this team from India did a ittle better than the team we saw last year [Mohun Bagan]. I know short stature and frail physique are major handicaps for them but it was still good to see them come and compete at this level and do actually better,” Sir Bobby told PTI. In the MUPC closing ceremony at University of Manchester’s Armitage Centre, Charlton surprised the gathering when he singled out East Bengal for special praise. “I saw a few matches, including one featuring this Indian side which has come all the way from West Bengal. They had certain handicaps but what struck me was their stomach for fight, which was astounding. It was really impressive to see how eager they were for a fight,” Sir Bobby said.