How do you plan for SC East Bengal? They are at the bottom of the table. They haven’t won a game yet and they have displayed good performances but they are yet to get a win. So how do you plan against them?
“Talking about SC East Bengal, they are a good side. Every team in ISL have good shape. We have to think about our own game. We need to think positively and go for the three points. Everybody is trying their best but we desperately need a win tomorrow and that’s the most important thing.”
The team has had four losses in the last six matches. So do you agree that the players are mentally down due to the performance? Do you think a win is very necessary against East Bengal?
“No, I disagree. We have experienced players, and they know better. So I don’t think there is any problem with that. It is about just confidence. Sometimes you are unlucky, but hopefully, we will be lucky and talking about the remaining players; they are also working hard. They know that in football, sometimes you get what you want. While sometimes you don’t get it, you have to work hard at that is the only solution.”
Your opponents SC East Bengal haven’t had the best of starts this season. So going into the game, What do you feel is your biggest strength and your biggest weakness?
“We have played six matches now, and I feel we need another win, and everything will be fine. Talking about their team, they are also playing well. So we have to be careful, but we have to believe in ourselves. That is the most important thing.”
Like you mentioned that Deshorn is not fit and you won’t play him. So, what exactly has happened to him? Any other injury concerns in the team?
“Deshorn is having a hamstring injury. He played the first game and after that, he got injured. In the next game also, he was injured but in the fourth game, we made him play. Then again he got and hamstring, but he will be playing soon, maybe next game or the game after that. Talking about other injury concerns, Khassa is doubtful. Hernan might play depending upon his condition. Remaining all players are fit”
The games are coming thick and fast, and like you mentioned that you don’t have all the foreigners available. So are you looking to sign someone in the winter transfer window as a replacement for Gallego?
“We are going to have a good player soon, as a replacement for Gallego. We are working on it, and we will also sign some other players in the January transfer window for sure.”
Patrick, this is the first time you have come to India and you are playing in the ISL. How would you sum up your overall experience playing in the ISL for the first time?
“It’s been a great experience for me so far, I have learned a lot of things. It’s a bit different style of football back home, and the conditions are a bit different. But I think it’s a really good league. It has a really good standard, and I’ve enjoyed it so far.”
When NorthEast United offered your a contract, which factor did you evaluate and what made your decision that India is the right place for you in this covid situation times. Did you personally speak to Khalid before signing for the club?
“I have heard a bit about the ISL before coming over because quite a few Aussies have been playing here in the last couple of seasons. Also, I have played with Le Fondre as well and he won it last year with Mumbai City FC. I spoke with him a bit about India before leaving, and he had high praise for the league. Before signing, I spoke with the coach as well, about his philosophy, and his way of coaching. The way he goes about things in the football sense interested me. So that was kind of icing on the cake and I suppose that’s why I wanted to come. I am really glad I did because I’ve learned a lot so far. I’m enjoying it and I think it’s going to improve me as a footballer, and a person as well.”
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