SC East Bengal are placed at the bottom of the points table with 10 points in 18 matches, and winning in their remaining matches can help them advance their position to a respectable position. They have registered only one win this season along with seven draws. In their previous encounter, SC East Bengal lost 1-0 to Mumbai City FC. Coach Mario Rivera is content with his team’s performances and attitude and wants them to give their all to win the last two games.
NorthEast United FC are ranked tenth with 13 points in 19 matches. The Highlanders have won only one match in their last five games, beating Bengaluru FC 2-1. The Highlanders were handed a 2-3 loss by Jamshedpur FC in their previous game. Goalkeeping coach Asier Rey is determined that the players are going to give their best and end the season on the positive note
SC East Bengal head coach Mario Rivera addressed the media in the pre-match press conference ahead of their game against NorthEast United on Monday, 28th February at the Tilak Maidan Stadium in Vasco, Goa. Below are the excerpts of coach Mario Rivera from the press conference.
The gaffer spoke about the importance of the game against NorthEast United from the club’s point of view to avoid the last position and finish the disappointing season on a happy note.
“Yes, it’s crucial because if we win, we will overcome them at the table, and we will try to do that. The final test is good because we’re playing well but we also want to get some good results. We have nothing to lose now.”
Rivera spoke about the team’s approach in the last two games.
“The team approach for the last two games will be to try to win, the same approach as the last matches. We will do everything we can to win the match and that’s all. We are only thinking about this match, and after the NorthEast United FC game, we will start thinking about the next match.”
Mario spoke about the way he is motivating the players at the end of a difficult season.
“If we watch the last four or five matches, I think I don’t need to explain again how to motivate the team. The team is playing better, with a better attitude, better offensive style, and the mood of the team is really good. All of the players are training very hard, enjoying it, and we don’t need to do something special to motivate them.”
Rivera spoke about the reason behind signing Ananta Tamang so late in the season.
“Yes, the reason is very simple. You need one Asian quota player, and Tomislav (Mrcela) got a good offer to go to Australia. He asked (me) if he can go to Australia for a full season as he got a good offer from a team. We let him go and after that, we needed an Asian player, so we signed Ananta.”
Mario has played the team quite a few formations in the last couple of matches. He spoke about it and if he decides the strategy as per the opponent’s formation.
“It is 80% strategy and 20% based on the opponent. I am in modern football, you need to play in different formations, it’s much better for you, it’s more difficult for the opponent. Also, I don’t like to play the first eleven in every match. We played the last two matches with 18 players. I think the performance is going up with each match, and this is good because it reflects that the team is training well and that all the players are ready to play. And if all the players are ready to play, then we can choose a different formation, the best formation to use in the next match.”
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