Vasco, December 6: Bolstered by their clean sheet against Chennaiyan FC, a more confident SC East Bengal will take on FC Goa in the Tilak Maidan Stadium in Vasco on Tuesday.
FC Goa haven’t had the best start to the Hero Indian Super League this season, having lost all three of their opening fixtures and currently placing last in the table. However, SCEB coach Jose Manuel Diaz does not expect it to be an easy match.
“FC Goa is a very good team, and it’s just a matter of time before they start clicking together. For us, every match is important,” he said at the pre-match press conference.
After conceding 10 goals in the first three matches of the season, the Spaniard appeared relieved at the clean sheet against Chennaiyan FC. “The clean sheet was needed. We got better as the match progressed. It is a good place to build from, especially for gaining confidence.”
On being asked about the changes he keeps making to the playing eleven every match, the former Real Madrid Castilla B coach insisted it was necessary to manage the workload. “We are playing every three days, so we have to rotate the squad. We can’t play the same players three matches in a row. The humidity of Goa is high and it’s hard for the players.”
With matches coming thick and fast, it is essential for the Spaniard to be able to get the services of the whole squad. However, injury woes still remain in the SCEB camp.
“Ankit Mukherjee and Jackichand Singh are improving, but there’s no date as of now about when they can join the team. These are the kind of injuries that cannot be rushed; we have to be cautious. We are keeping a tab on everyone’s physical condition because we started the pre-season late.” Diaz said, adding that everyone in the squad will get chances.