Diaz admitted that his team is trying their best to improve the mood.

SC East Bengal head coach Manolo Diaz revealed that his team’s late start to the pre-season preparations is hampering their physical strength which needs to be tackled, as his side is up against NorthEast United FC in match 32 of the Hero Indian Super League (ISL) 2021-22 season on Friday at the Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in Fatorda, Goa

Diaz admitted that his team is trying their best to improve the mood following their underwhelming results in the last matches and stated that things will be challenging in the coming days.

Ahead of his side’s clash against the Highlanders, the Red and Gold Brigade head coach addressed the media during a pre-match press conference.

NorthEast United FC are also not playing well. Do you think you would approach the game head on and attack right from the beginning to ensure the much-needed win for your team?

Manolo Diaz: We must keep sticking to our strong points and avoid making easy mistakes in the game. NorthEast finished in the top four in the previous season, this season the team didn’t start well, and tomorrow it will be a balanced match for both teams.

The team is at the bottom of the points table. How do you lift the mood in the dressing room ahead of the NorthEast United FC game?

Manolo Diaz: We try to improve the mood of the squad; we know it’s a difficult situation for the team and that’s the reason every match is an even bigger challenge for us.

What are your thoughts with the results in the last few matches and how close is this side to winning matches?

Manolo Diaz: We must continue working with an excellent attitude and respect the squad. There were some matches which we could’ve won but, in the end, we couldn’t take much advantage of the opportunities in our hands.

Are you happy with the fitness levels of your playersDo you think there is an issue with the fitness, physical, and mental well-being of the players this season?

Manolo Diaz: It’s not just a physical issue, it’s technical, tactical, and a lot more things but the whole squad is in it together. The team started too late for the pre-season preparations and that’s the reason for the current condition of the physical strength of the team.

Does SC East Bengal train for developing attacks through long throw-ins as much as they would with other set-piece routines?

Manolo Diaz: We created goals in different ways not only with throw-ins, and we look forward to scoring goals via set-pieces too.

Are you concerned with the form of your foreign recruits?

Manolo Diaz: We have scored nine goals out of which the foreign players have scored eight goals. I am not happy with them, for me this is a regular performance.   

A number of goals have been scored via long throw-ins. In Raju Gaikwad, SC East Bengal have someone who does that quite well. What is it that makes these long throw-ins such an important attacking weapon? 

Manolo Diaz: The long throw-ins have a great possibility of scoring goals because our players have been delivering quality performances, but a professional team must do many more things. The entire team must be compact with pressing, electrifying attacking, etc.

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