The Red and Gold Brigade will be looking to take advantage of a lacklustre FC Goa side.

Going into their fifth match of their Indian Super League (ISL) campaign, SC East Bengal have their best shot to get their first win on Tuesday when they take on FC Goa. The Gaurs are low on confidence after losing all of their matches prior to this fixture. After a strong display against Chennaiyin FC, Manolo Diaz and co surely must have had a slight increase in their self-belief.

The SC East Bengal head coach spoke in the pre-match press conference on Monday.

Search for the strongest XI

One of the things that SC East Bengal’s coaching staff doesn’t seem to get right is their starting XI. They have been making tweaks here and there ever since they drew against Jamshedpur FC.

“We will be playing matches every three days, so we must rotate our players. The humidity here in Goa is very high, which makes it hard for the players to play numerous matches in a row,” the coach answered when quizzed on the topic.

Latest on Jackichand Singh and Ankit Mukherjee

SC East Bengal Vs FC Goa | Manolo Diaz’s pre-match press conference | ISL 2021-22

Since making an appearance back in their season opener, Jackichand Singh has not started for SC East Bengal since then. “He is improving, but we still don’t know the exact date when he’ll be back,” Manolo Diaz revealed.

Similar to Jackichand, Ankit Mukherjee has also been absent from the squad and the head coach spoke about his situation as well. “His situation is similar to Jacki’s. We must take it step by step and give it some time,” he quipped.

Fitness of the squad

The SC East Bengal squad has been picking up injuries often along the way, and the fitness of the squad has been questionable. The head coach blamed the short pre-season for this.

“We didn’t get much time to train because we started the pre-season too late. The first half of the season has a lot of games. The squad is tired, which is why we need to rotate the team every match,” he said.

On beating FC Goa

The Gaurs are yet to register a single point this season. Diaz was asked whether it will be easier to beat such a team whose form is not good.

“Every match is for winning, not only against FC Goa. They are a very good team, and came in the top-four last season. They can play well in any match,” Manolo Diaz responded.

Is the defence finally improving?

The Kolkata-based side have conceded 10 goals in their last four matches. However, signs of improvement were evident in their draw against Chennaiyin FC.

“In the match against Odisha FC, we conceded six goals. Against Chennaiyin, we conceded zero. This is a good point to build the future on and gain confidence,” Diaz concluded.

For more football updates, follow Khel Now on TwitterInstagram and join our community on Telegram.