The East Bengal head coach also spoke about the competition in this fixture.

After their heart-breaking second-half debacle that led to their fifth defeat of the season, East Bengal will take on Jamshedpur FC in an ISL 2022-23 fixture on Sunday. Both teams are currently placed in the bottom half of the table with East Bengal in the eighth place while Jamshedpur FC in the ninth position. Stephen Constantine’s side has six points from seven games while Jamshedpur has four points from six games.

East Bengal is coming to this match on the back of a loss and will be looking to get back to winning ways. On the other hand, Jamshedpur FC is coming to the match on the back of three back-to-back defeats and will be desperate to get three points. Against this backdrop, East Bengal head coach Stephen Constantine addressed the pre-match press conference.

Edited excerpts from the conference are as follows.

Away game is of a psychological advantage due to good results in past?

East Bengal have won two games so far in the league. Both these games were away games. On being asked whether playing away games is, thus, more advantageous to the side, Stephen Constantine said that both home and away games are difficult in the league. He said:

“I think all the games that we play at home and away are difficult. Our opponents for tomorrow are a difficult side. Sometimes people say when we play at Kolkata we have 60,000 people (cheering for us). But we did not have 60,000 in the last game, or in the game before that. So, I don’t think there is any problem with that.”

Coach’s thoughts on Jamshedpur FC

Jamshedpur FC is the current holder of the ISL League Winners’ Shield. This year has not been much good for the team though. Accordingly, Constantine expressed his thoughts on the quality of the side. He stated:

“They are the Shield holders. They have my respect. They have a good coach in Aidy Boothroyd who knows what he is doing. He has been in the game for a long time. They have got some quality players. We respect all the teams that we play. We have not come here to lose the game. We are going to try and win the game. Hopefully, we will get a good result and return to Kolkata with three points.”

Constantine on JRD Tata Sports Complex

Constantine seemed very impressed with the infrastructure of the JRD Tata Sports Complex. He opined:

“The stadium is fantastic. The surface is as good as it can get as far as I am concerned. We are excited to play the game tomorrow.”

Constantine’s message to East Bengal fans

Stephen Constantine reiterated his gratitude toward East Bengal fans for their constant support toward the team. He said:

“We expect our fans to be everywhere with us at all games in good numbers. We are not so far from Kolkata. So, of course, I expect the fans to come. They have been fantastic. They have been supporting us. We understand the sacrifices they have to make in order to come and see us. So, we want to appreciate that. We have a close relationship with our fans. I hope that continues.”

The tactician added, “The fans coming to the game adds to the game. We all know what it likes to be in a bubble. No fans, no football, no feeling, no passion. So, without the fans, it would not be that much good or exciting as it could be. The important thing is that we will have our fans in the game and hopefully our fans will go home happy.”

On the future of Jamshedpur-born Mobashir Rahman

Constantine expressed what he thinks about the future of Mobashir Rahman. He said, for Mobashir to become successful in the long run, he needs to work very hard and take all the measures required to excel in the game. He said:

“Potential is a dangerous word. It means possibility. It is just that, it is a possibility. Unfortunately, we have no players in India playing outside. Why is that? You have to understand that having potential means the possibility of being a good player. In order to fulfil that possibility, you need to do a lot of things on the pitch to make that realization. Sometimes, people don’t understand that for getting to the top, it is a lot of hard work. And, you do that hard work when no one is watching.”

On both teams not being able to perform well and languishing at the bottom

Constantine said that despite both teams being placed at the bottom half of the table, Sunday’s game will be competitive and difficult for both sides. He said:

“I think you have two teams not in the best position in the world. But two teams are going to fight tomorrow, that’s for sure. I think it would be a very difficult game for both teams. I hope we can come out with the three points.”

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