Mario Rivera – The fans can be proud of us because we fought till the end

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Mario Rivera’s SC East Bengal are currently at the bottom of the league table, with 11 points from 19 matches, having won once, drawn eight times, and losing 10 matches. The Red and Gold Brigade will want to end their campaign on a high note over a languished Bengaluru FC to put an end to a forgetful campaign. The Kolkata-based club failed to climb up the table after sharing spoils with NorthEast United FC in their last game.

Bengaluru FC are placed sixth in the league table, having collected 26 points from 19 games. All hopes were lost for the Blues after two back-to-back losses put a dent in their pursuit of making it to the top four. The Blues were far past their best against ATK Mohun Bagan in their previous game, thus losing the last opportunity to have a shot of being in the top four.

SC East Bengal head coach Mario Rivera and striker Antonio Perosevic addressed the media during the pre-match press conference ahead of their final game of the season against Bengaluru FC at the Tilak Maidan Stadium in Goa, on Saturday. Below are the excerpts from the media interaction.

Mario Rivera

Mario summed up the performance of the team in his tenure as the manager.

“If we check the results in my tenure, it’s not good, but if one looks at the matches, the improvement is there for all to see. The coaches and players said that we were very competitive. We changed many things, we grew more confident with the ball, the ability to string passes together increased, and we created many chances.”

“It was difficult but it was also amazing. In the last month, we played good offensive football. I am proud of all the players, their performance, and their practice, as they were trying to play better every day.”

The last game won’t change anything in the complexion of the points table. Mario spoke about how he is looking to motivate the players and help the team win the final match of the season.

“I don’t think so, the players do not need (added) motivation for every game. The players are professionals, they always want to win every match so it’s easy to motivate them.”

Mario Rivera

Rivera spoke about the changes that can be expected in the team tomorrow.

“I will look to provide some game time to the young players tomorrow. They have been training well and deserve some minutes.”

Mario spoke on if he plans to field new signing Ananta Tamang in the upcoming game.

“Ananta Tamang will be on the team list, it remains to be seen whether he will get game time. It is never easy for anyone to play after being in quarantine for so long but he is a good player with a positive attitude and maybe he will get a few minutes.”

Mario also shared a message for the fans as the season concludes for East Bengal.

“We are sorry we could not provide the desired results, but all the fans can be proud of our team because we played with the right spirit in every match, we fought till the end in every match. We respect the legacy of this club from the start to the end.”

Mario Rivera

Striker Antonio Perosevic was also present at the press conference. Below are his excerpts.

Antonio summed up the team’s season and also shared his experience from his time in ISL.

“For me, it was a very good experience in India. I feel I would have scored some more goals if it was not for the suspension. But this is football, this is life and we have to learn from this type of situation. We had a lot of fun memories for sure, I can speak for one hour. Everything was good and I can say that everybody was so good and I loved my time here.”

Antonio shed some light on the experience inside the bio bubble.

“The bubble was hard. To stay in one place for six months is hard for everyone. But it was a good experience for me so I cannot complain. For the team, I can say everything was good. We have good guys. But the results were not that great, so I cannot be satisfied too much.”

Perosevic spoke about the threat Bengaluru FC can possess.

“It will be a difficult game for sure. They (Bengaluru FC) are a good team with good individual players. We will try to finish the season with a win, so will they.”

Mario Rivera

Perosevic shared a message for the fans who have showered so much love throughout the season.

“For the fans, I would want to say thank you for all the love and support you gave me. I feel this from your messages on Instagram and Facebook. I am so sorry that we had a bad season. We will see what happens next year and try to perform better. Until then take care and I will miss you.”

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