Vasco, December 11: SC East Bengal will be gunning for their maiden win of this season's Hero Indian Super League when they take on Kerala Blasters FC on Sunday.
KBFC, who were themselves without a win in their first three matches of the season, bounced back in the previous match to narrowly edge past Odisha FC. The Manjappadas will be the more confident of the two teams going into the contest, and SCEB coach Jose Manuel Diaz is well aware of it.
"Kerala Blasters have a compact team and hard-working players, and it will be difficult to beat them. It will be a complicated match," Diaz said ahead of the match.
The veteran coach stressed the need to put games to bed when the opportunity arises. "We have played 5 matches till now, and in most of them, we failed to convert our chances and win when the opportunity arose. This needs to be addressed. We are also focusing on enhancing our level and decision-making process with every match."
Asked if the fitness of the players is one of the reasons for this poor string of results, the Spaniard said, "Its not only about the fitness, the technical and tactical parts also matter and we have not been up to the mark in each one of them."
The Real Madrid Castilla B coach also provided insights into the mood of the dressing room. "When we play well and yet don't win, the mood in the dressing room becomes a little sombre. In most of the matches that we played, we have done good things and were in contention to win or secure a point till the end, so the boys draw a lot of positives from that."
Although there's no addition to the list of injuries in the SCEB camp, they will be without captain Arindam Bhattacharya in this match too, as he is yet to recover from the injury he suffered during the side's second ISL match of the season against ATK Mohun Bagan. Other notable absentees include Jackichand Singh and Darren Sidoel, who is nursing a hamstring injury. The fans have been left understandably frustrated at the performance of the team this season, and that is playing on the coach's mind as well.
"We understand the feelings and frustration of the supporters. We know the difficult situation we are in, and we are thirsty too. We want to keep going and keep improving our level to bring back the smile to our supporters' faces," Diaz said as he signed off.