Manolo Diaz – FC Goa is a very good team

Manolo Diaz

SC East Bengal is having a difficult start to the season. They drew with Jamshedpur FC in their first match. Since then they had a 3-0 loss in Kolkata Derby against ATK Mohun Bagan. After that, they faced another defeat in a 6-4 thriller against Odisha FC. In their last match, they played Chennaiyin FC for a 0-0 draw. They are currently placed in the 11th spot on the table while their opponents in the next match, FC Goa currently sit last on the table.

Coach Manolo Diaz and assistant coach Gary addressed the media ahead of their encounter against FC Goa on Thursday. Below is the full transcript.

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You have been shuffling your starting eleven in almost every game, are you still searching for your strongest starting eleven?

“We are going to play matches every three days so we must do a squad rotation and give chance to every players. We cannot play the same player in three matches in a row. The humidity here in Goa is very high, it’s hard for the players to be able to play in every match.”

What’s the latest update on the injuries of Jackichand Singh and Ankit Mukherjee?

“Jackichand is improving from his injury, but we don’t know the exact day when he will be ready to come and play with the team. We must take care of this kind of injury, because you think it’s okay, and you can want to come back and start playing but then ypi you again feel pain. He must take his time and recover properly.”

“Ankit has similar circumstances like Jackichand. We must go step by step with his recovery because he started to train when we did not know if he was in good condition. For the reason, he must take some more time to recover.”

The team that has played in the second half against Chennaiyin FC, showed great character and fighting spirit. Is it your ideal starting XI?

“No, not at all. All of the players in our squad are going to have a chance. In the second half against Chennaiyin FC, we were better than in the first half. But the whole squad is very important for us.”

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FC Goa has a Spanish coach and as many as five Spanish players. As a Spanish coach could you shed some light on the reasons many Spaniards come to the ISL and subsequently do very well? Is it easier to get the best out of the overseas players when they are from your own country?

“It is very important for foreign players to quickly adapt to the Indian Super League. Many of the Spanish players did not play in the first division in Spain, but they have a very good base in them. They know the way to play, and they have very good skills and in the Indian Super League there are a lot of Spanish players that play very well.”

FC Goa hasn’t won a game so far too and lost their first three games. Is that an advantage for your team? How confident are you of beating FC Goa?

Every match is important for winning, and not only the one against FC Goa. See FC Goa is a very good team. Last season they finished inside the top-four and they qualified for the playoffs. They are a team that can play well in every match”

Is the defense playing better as a unit? They kept a clean sheet in the last game but is the defense doing better from the first match?

“After the match against Odisha FC, we did not concede any goals against Chennaiyin FC. So we are in a pretty good position and it is the perfect moment to build a strong defense for the future, it will help us gain confidence and win the upcoming matches”

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