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Carles Cuadrat: Let’s work hard to win some points at home

Published at :December 4, 2023 at 12:12 AM
Modified at :January 14, 2024 at 12:11 AM
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(Courtesy : ISL Media)

Sattyik Sarkar

Carles Cuadrat wants East Bengal players to cut short the unnecessary errors.

30 September 2023 – this was the last time East Bengal had won a game in the Indian Super League. 4 December 2023, they’ll be again taking the pitch on home soil. Carles Cuadrat has a tough task in hand, but of course a coach doesn’t take the field. It’s the players.

It’ll be up on the East Bengal players to show determination, grit and whatever the other synonyms are, to clinch a positive outcome, if not for themselves, then at least for the thousands present in the stands. It’s high time the club show what they can do when they are on the backfoot. The ‘Khocha Khawa Bagh‘, as the Maidan calls the Red & Golds, East Bengal now have to get back on the frontfoot!

‘No win’ to ‘two wins’

While speaking in the pre-match press conference, Cuadrat sounded confident and determined. He started off by saying, “We don’t have a victory in the last four games. This is a fact. We are not happy of course. We have to take advantage of the next two games and get points at home. We’ll play two home games in six days, so by next Sunday if we get some good points, it will be a big difference.

“If you look at the points table, most teams around us have already played eight games and we have played only six. Let’s work hard to win some points now playing at home,” the tactician believes two wins on the trot will turn the tides in East Bengal’s favour!

Sixth spot? Preps going on!

How far is the sixth spot – the bare minimum for qualification into the playoffs! East Bengal currently sit ninth on the ISL table. Although the playoffs scenario shoudn’t be much of a concern in December, but if the team doesn’t start producing results, then two months down the line, the pressure will only pile up on the players and the staff.

Cuadrat said, “We are working very tough in trainings. And we are not far from the sixth spot. We have to get the positive dynamic to get the points we are losing cheapily. In the last game, we almost got three points but one unforced error led to us losing two points in the final moments.”

Cut short the errors!

The Spaniard wants the errors cut short and demands thorough discipline from the players. After all it’s the minute differences which change the momentum of a fixture! He asserted, “We have to be focused and mentally strong to not lose cheap points again. If we would have got all the points from winning positions, we should have been in a different position in the ISL table. Players have to learn that game managing and avoid unnecessary mistakes.”

Confidence shadowed the media room at the Salt Lake Stadium when Carles Cuadrat commented, “The players know that we have to get results. I as a coach as well, have to deliver results.” Four games without a win is harsh for a club of East Bengal’s stature!

The Spaniard was quick in pointing out how small differences cost a football game. He cited an example too! “In general, there are small differences which take things to a different direction. For example, Jamshedpur and Hyderabad. They are losing games only by a goal’s difference like it has happened to us. It means they are fighting until the end for the result, and they have good tactical work behind. But players make the difference by scoring and defending well when a result is tied,” he mentioned.

“It’s the same for us. Most of our games were tight contests in terms of results; 0-0, 1-1, 2-1, 1-2. If you manage things in a certain way, you get three points or a point. If you don’t get even a single point, you’re not doing the things you should do to get something from the match when the contest is so narrow,” he added.

NorthEast can be an example to East Bengal

As the saying goes, ‘Where there is a will, there is a way’, East Bengal must learn from NorthEast United how to reverse the tables. Cuadrat didn’t shy away from praising the opponents. “NorthEast United are in a positive situation now. Last season they didn’t do well. But this season there is a change in the team. They have good foreigners who make difference and will be a difficult team to beat,” he spoke highly of Juan Pedro Benali’s contingent.

Protection+Opportunity: Both for youngsters

Before concluding, Carles Cuadrat also shed light on how he is planning to use the youngsters in the squad. For quite some time, Aman CK was seen in the reserve bench. PV Vishnu on the other hand, got a start in the previous game and asserted dominance on the outcome.

“I have seen the games in the Calcutta Football League. The jump from CFL to ISL is a crazy big step. Vishnu is a great talent and we are taking care of him. We are trying to give opportunities to the youngsters in the right way, but protecting them to avoid a frustrating career because of the overexposure when you are not ready yet. I protected and gave opportunity to players like Suresh (Singh), Roshan (Singh), Parag (Shrivas) or even Gill (Prabhsukhan), Gursimrat (Gill) and Ajay (Chhetri) when I was in Bengaluru FC. So my plan is also to give opportunities to young players whom I think can become good professionals in the future,” he said before leaving.

Carles Cuadrat left the media room with a smile as he always does. But he’ll want repeat the same action when he enters the room after the game on 4 December. NorthEast United will be vying for revenge. But a ‘zakhmi sher‘ is always a tough nut to crack!

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