Panaji, Nov 20: Head coach Jose Manuel Diaz on Saturday stressed the importance of winning the first game of the season, saying SC East Bengal will leave no stone unturned in their effort to bag three points when they take on Jamshedpur FC in their Hero ISL opener at the Tilak Maidan Stadium on Sunday.
"For us, the most important is the first match for gaining confidence," Diaz said on the eve of the tie. Asked about the Kolkata Derby against ATK Mohun Bagan being the next match, the former Real Madrid Castilla boss said: "We are not thinking about the derby just yet. After the pre-season, we are hopeful of doing well in the first official match."
Diaz, with assistant coach Angel Puebla Garcia translating for him, added that the team is prepared to adapt to any situation during the game and has a fluid shape. "We can play in different ways going by the squad we have. We can look for different solutions in every match."
On their opponents, he said: "Jamshedpur FC have been together for some time. The squad does not have too many changes. We have a new team. We know what we need to do and do our best."
Daniel Chima Chukwu is expected to lead the line for the red and gold brigade, and Diaz said the Nigerian forward should be able to help the team in scoring goals and creating chances.
"We know Chima's skills. He is a very good player. He can help us in getting the goals, also for helping other teammates. But Chima needs the team and Chima will improve his level when the whole team works together."
Jamshedpur FC, coached by Owen Coyle, finished at sixth place last season with 27 points in 20 matches. They won 7 and lost 7 in the course of the season and missed out on the semi-final spot by just four points. Attacking midfielder Greg Stewart, who joined the Men of Steel from Champions of Scotland Rangers FC, will be the one to look out for. Coyle will also look to the services of forward Jordan Murray and Eli Sabia in attack and defence respectively. Both players have ISL experience and will look to add value to the side.
SC East Bengal's clash against Jamshedpur FC will kick off at 7.30 pm IST and will be telecast live on the STAR Sports Network, Disney+Hotstar and JioTV.