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Carles Cuadrat indicates squad rotation before Mumbai City game

Published at :February 12, 2024 at 8:37 PM
Modified at :February 12, 2024 at 8:38 PM
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(Courtesy : EB Media)

Uttiyo Sarkar


East Bengal boss Carles Cuadrat also spoke about his team’s ability to adapt to various tactics.

East Bengal are eager to get back to winning ways in the Indian Super League (ISL) when they host heavyweights Mumbai City FC at the Salt Lake Stadium, Kolkata on Tuesday (February 13). Being on a five-game winless run in the ISL, the Red & Gold Brigade desperately need a win to rejuvenate their playoff ambitions.

East Bengal to rotate squad for Mumbai City clash

Carles Cuadrat has promised to rotate his squad around for this important game as he won’t have Jose Pardo or Saul Crespo due to injuries. He said: “It’s difficult to play tomorrow because we’ve demanded a lot of effort from our players in the last few weeks. We will do rotations, we’re going to use some players that have been helping the team but not participating with that many minutes.

“It’s a good opportunity for them to show that they are part of a deep squad and ready to help the team when it is necessary. We’re taking that decision because we must understand that players are humans. Pardo got injured in the last game and Saul also two games ago. That is normal because they played almost every minute of the Super Cup and ISL before the injuries, so we’ve used them for seven/eight games in four weeks,” he added.

The Spaniard insisted that he will rotate the squad to protect his players from more injuries, saying: “We only played two games in October and November, so this is one thing that is happening wrong in the Indian football calendar. I think we should all try to be more professional, so that kind of thing doesn’t happen. I’ll try to protect my players, we have 10 finals in front of us. The playoffs are very important for us, so we’ll try to take advantage of the full squad we have and get the number of wins needed to get into the playoffs.”

East Bengal need to be smart

East Bengal will also miss Cleiton Silva due to a suspension and the mentor believes that his side needs to be smart to not suffer any more similar set-backs. He explained: “It’s very bad to lose Cleiton, so we must be intelligent at this moment of the season. The calendar isn’t protecting my players, so I will be the one protecting them. The health of the players is clue to be competitive, and we will have a lot of finals in front of us. Mumbai have prepared for this game for nine days while we only have one training to prepare for tomorrow’s match. This is the moment of protection, grab points in another way and get ready for the battles that will happen in the next weeks. If you see the league table, there are full of teams with two or three wins and we’re one of the teams with fewer games played than some of the other teams. That means we have that small margin.

“Now it might look negative because we come from a loss, but a lot of things can happen until the end of the season. What is needed at the end of the season to get the sixth position is to get a certain number of wins. It can be seven, eight or nine. So we have some games to get to these wins, to work and to arrive at the crucial moment of the competition and be ready to get wins. We have a lot of battles to play, but we have more games happening beyond tomorrow’s match,” he added.

Can East Bengal adapt without key players?

Finally, Carles Cuadrat highlighted that his East Bengal side is adapting to tactical tweaks and can adapt to changes against Mumbai City. He mentioned: “From the start of the season, we’ve used a lot of different tactical systems and used players in different positions. I’m not a coach with a book and always do the same, I adapt as per the opponent and to the situation of my squad – depending on injuries and everything. I change very often, I’ve been using Cleiton in different positions and used Nishu, Khabra, Mahesh and even Ajay in different roles.

“I’ve tried playing with three, four, five defenders and two strikers at times. Felicio is a very good footballer, who will help us for sure. He scored one important goal against NorthEast after not even one full training. We’re working well, the team is understanding what we’re doing and I’m very happy that we’re heading in the same direction and having a good season,” he concluded.

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