Sat, 09 Dec 2023

Kolkata (West Bengal) [India], September 30 (ANI): East Bengal FC head coach Carles Cuadrat is anticipating a closely-fought contest as his team faces Hyderabad FC in Matchweek 2 of the Indian Super League (ISL) at the Vivekananda Yuba Bharati Krirangan in Kolkata on Saturday.

East Bengal FC began their campaign with a goalless draw against Jamshedpur FC, failing to find the net despite having several clear goal-scoring opportunities. Cuadrat expressed that he is not overly concerned about his strikers' goal conversion rate but is content because his team created numerous promising goal-scoring chances. The Red and Gold Brigade is now gearing up to secure their first win of the ISL 2023-24 season against Hyderabad FC.

"We have to be prepared for everything. The most important thing is that we work on our tactical approach. In that regard, I am pleased because we were able to find spaces and create chances through crosses, which is something we've been working on. The opponent will make it challenging, but we are putting in the necessary work to secure the victory," Cuadrat said during the pre-match press conference as quoted by ISL's website.

Having former Hyderabad FC players like Javier Siverio and Borja Herrera in his squad, Cuadrat noted, "It's always an advantage. They possess valuable insights about their opponents. So, having players who can provide us with information is beneficial. However, it's a new season, a new team, and new transfers, so their knowledge is just one piece of the puzzle. We focus on fine-tuning the small details, and having information from players who were at the other club before can be helpful in that regard."In previous encounters, Hyderabad FC has maintained an unbeaten record against East Bengal FC with four wins and two draws in the ISL. The Red and Gold Brigade have failed to score in their last three matches against Hyderabad FC. Cuadrat, however, believes that with new players and a fresh setup, the statistics could change on Saturday.

"We need to be prepared for a close game. Matches against Hyderabad FC have always been tight, so we must be mentally prepared for that," he explained.

East Bengal FC captain Cleiton Silva, who came off the bench in the second half against Jamshedpur FC to replace Borja Herrera, the top scorer for the Red and Gold Brigade last season, is still working on achieving full match fitness. Cuadrat commented on this, stating, "Cleiton (Silva) is progressing towards starting and getting more minutes. He had a significant week, and we are working together to ensure he is fit for the game."Accompanying the Spanish head coach to the pre-match press conference was winger Nandhakumar Sekar. He played a pivotal role for East Bengal FC in the Durand Cup and is eager to contribute for his team in the ISL. While the team is ready for the Hyderabad FC challenge, Nandhakumar emphasised the need for clinical finishing in the final third to convert chances into goals on Saturday.

"Everyone is prepared for the game. We generated numerous chances in the last match, with good crosses and overall play. The only missing element was goals. I hope we'll see more goals in the upcoming match," Sekar commented. (ANI)

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