Souvik Chakrabarti has played a pivotal role for East Bengal FC this season, swiftly becoming a crucial member of Carles Cuadrat’s setup due to his versatility and commitment to the game. The Kolkata-born player has been a regular face in Indian football for over a decade and, after a timid last season, he is regaining his form this season.

Chakrabarti had a stellar season with Hyderabad FC during the 2021-22 season, playing a key role in the side that clinched the ISL Cup. However, his first season with East Bengal FC was not great, as he was sidelined for most of it due to injury.

The 32-year-old midfielder is slowly regaining his lost form this season and has formed a strong partnership with Saul Crespo in the heart of the pitch. Known for his destructive style of play, Chakrabarti has been superb and has acclimated himself brilliantly to whatever role he has been asked to play by the head coach.

In a recent interview with TV9 Bangla Sports, Chakrabarti shared insights into his comeback journey and answered questions about what changed for him.

“To be honest, I'm not a believer in the concept of 'change’. I always strive to give my best every time,” Chakrabarti told TV9 Bangla Sports.

“Last year, I couldn't play in many matches due to injury. Therefore, I am aiming to perform better in every single match from the beginning of the season,” he added.

The midfielder featured in some of the Calcutta Football League (CFL) matches prior to the start of the ISL. He firmly believes that there is no substitute for hard work and dedication.

“Playing in the Calcutta Football League (CFL) has greatly aided me in regaining my form. I have never underestimated the CFL or any other matches; I played where the club has asked me to play,” he said.

“I have always followed the coach's instructions. I strive to play in a way that can benefit the team. There is no secret to playing well, and you can't achieve success without hard work and dedication,” he added.

Chakrabarti spoke highly of the head coach and his working principles, also mentioning how the Spaniard has adapted to East Bengal FC’s football culture.

“(Carles) Cuadrat is the main driving force of our team. He consistently guides and motivates us both on and off the field. There is no doubt that Cuadrat has adapted well to the football culture of East Bengal FC, forging a strong bond within the team that will only grow stronger with time,” he stated.

In the ongoing season, Chakrabarti has made 14 successful tackles, earned nine fouls, committed five interceptions, and provided 160 successful passes for the Red and Gold Brigade. His performances, especially against Mumbai City FC and Odisha FC, were highly commendable, showcasing the exceptional work rate he exhibited to confront players like Greg Stewart and Ahmed Jahouh.

He has formed a great partnership with Saul Crespo in the midfield, and their collaboration has facilitated Borja Herrera to work upfront more freely.

“I have developed a great understanding with Saul Crespo since the beginning of the season. He is quite sociable, and we became good friends very quickly. This marks his second season in the ISL, and he is well accustomed to the league,” the midfielder shared.

“We make a concerted effort to spend time together both on and off the field, strengthening our understanding,” he added.

East Bengal FC will kick off their Kalinga Super Cup journey on January 9 against Hyderabad FC. Chakrabarti shares insights into the significance of the upcoming tournament and discusses their approach for the remainder of the ISL.

“Undoubtedly, the (Kalinga) Super Cup is a crucial tournament for us. We will step onto the pitch with the winning mentality. We prefer to take it game by game,” he said.

“The management has been very supportive, and we intend to adopt a game-by-game approach in the league as well. We will give our best to secure a position in the top six of the ISL,” Chakrabarti signed off.