Expect East Bengal FC fans to be present wherever we play: Stephen Constantine
East Bengal FC Coach Stephen Constantine is hopeful that they will go back to Kolkata with the three points when they take on Jamshedpur FC in the Hero Indian Super League (ISL) match at the at the JRD Tata Sports complex in Jamshedpur on Sunday.
The Englishman admitted that Jamshedpur FC have got some quality players and a good coach but they will try to win the game using their own strengths.
This face-off is intriguing for the fact that Jamshedpur FC's solitary win, so far, came in their own backyard whereas East Bengal FC registered both their wins away from home. A win in this match is absolutely vital for both the teams to push towards the top end of the table.
In the official pre-match press conference, Constantine was accompanied by Naorem Mahesh Singh, who scored a goal in the last game. The Gaffer also appreciated the support by their fans and evaluated his opponent ahead of the game.
Here are the excerpts from Stephen Constantine's Conference:
You have won two matches away. So, this time it is an away game so, is playing the away game an advantage for your team psychologically?
Constantine : No, I don't think (so). All the games we play (either) in home or away are difficult. Our opponents on Sunday are a difficult side. So I don't look at the home and away (in that way). Yeah, sometimes people say when we play in Kolkata, we have 60000 (fans) but we don't have 60000 at the last game or the game before that, so I don't think there is any problem with that.
How do you rate the Jamshedpur FC team as a whole?
Constantine: I believe they are the Shield Winners. So they have my respect and they have a good coach in Aidy Boothroyd. He knows what he's doing. He's been in the game for a long time and they've got some quality players. So we respect all the teams that we play. We're not coming here to lose the game. We're going to try and win the game and hopefully we get a result and we'll go back to Kolkata with the three points.
A lot of fans are coming here to Jamshedpur in order to support the team. Is that an advantage of having supporters here?
Constantine: We expect our fans to be everywhere with us so far they have been at all the games, in good numbers. So, we are only not so far from Kolkata, so, of course, I would expect our fans to come. They have been fantastic and are supporting us. We understand the sacrifices they have to make in order to come and see us and travel and so on. We appreciate that obviously. We have a close relationship with our fans, I think, and I hope that continues and we appreciate their support and obviously we need their support. So yeah, it would be good
Both Jamshedpur FC and East Bengal FC are down at the point table, so how are you thinking that this will affect the match on Sunday?
Constantine: I think you have two teams that, as you say, are not in the best position. But two teams are going to fight on Sunday, that's for sure and I think it would be a very difficult game for both teams. I hope that we can come out with the three points. But it would be very difficult.
It's a four hour journey from Kolkata to Jamshedpur but huge numbers of away fans are coming for the game. So, there is good rivalry happening off the pitch between the fans as well. How does that feel? Is it a kind of derby?
Constantine :For me, derbies are based on location to a degree. So obviously, (against) ATK Mohun Bagan is a derby and against Mohammedan SC is a derby and Jamshedpur is four hours away. It's a derby for me. I think the fans coming to the game adds to the game. We all know what it's like to be in the bubble. No fans, no football, no feeling, no passion. So without the fans, I don't think football will be as good or as exciting as it could be. So it's really important. We had the fans at the games and hopefully our fans go home happy.
Mobashir Rahman is in the team (East Bengal FC), he is from Jamshedpur, born and brought up here) So what do you think about his future, like when can we see him sometime playing in the Indian team on how his potential is looking?
Constantine: Potential is a dangerous word. Potential means the possibility. Yeah, it's just that it's a possibility. If people don't work hard, if people believe the hype so unfortunately we have no players in India, playing outside. Why is that ? You have to understand that having the potential means the possibility of being a good player. But in order to fulfill that possibility, you need to do a lot of things off the pitch and on the pitch to make that realization and that's what people don't understand to get to the top. It's a lot of hard work and you do the hard work when no one is watching. Now everything is on Instagram. Oh, look at me. I'm running. Look at me on weight lifting. Look at me on this. But you've got to do it when no one's watching.
Here are the excerpts from Naorem Mahesh Singh's Conference:
You have scored in the last match and so how confident are you going into the game?
Singh : It's the same for me. It's all about giving my best for the team and learning from this. I guess I will score in this game again.
In the last match, the team scored 2 goals but conceded 4 goals back. What was the team talk on that ? How are you going to rectify those mistakes?
Singh :It is difficult for us, we were winning two goals up and getting 4 goals in the second half. We did (this) before also. We don't play like 90 minutes most of the game. Some games we played good in the first half and in some games we played very good in the second half. For this game, I think we must play (the whole) 90 minutes good.