Indians are the most coachable players: East Bengal FC's Constantine on LFL show

Among all the results and moments that happened in the last Hero Indian Super League match week, the one which stood apart was the emotions of red and gold brigade in the away stand as East Bengal FC won all the three points against their old rivals Bengaluru FC at their own backyard, the Sree Kanteerava Stadium, in Bengaluru at the Hero Indian Super League (ISL) 2022-23 season.

A club with the stature like East Bengal FC wants to earn its rightful place in the top league and the appointment of Stephen Constantine seems like a step in the right direction as East Bengal FC got 2 wins within the first six games of 2022-23 season whereas in last year, they had won only one game in the entire season.

East Bengal FC head coach Constantine, who featured in the latest Let’s Football Live show alongside Pulasta Dhar and Suyash, spoke about the underdog qualities in him, the progress of the young players in the team, the goal for East Bengal FC this season and lot more.

The Gaffer opens up about unique considerations that he has to make to manage Indian players and what it is about Indian players that he feels like he truly grasps and understands about them.

"I think you need the carrot and the stick here in India. The players are probably the most coachable players that I've worked with. The more you give them, the more they want. They are thirsty to improve and this is obviously easy if you're a teacher, if you're trying to teach them things, which is what we do, as coaches.  Seven years working with Indian players from two different generations. It's been really good and the response has been as it was in 2002 and 2015 and as it is now, it's been great."

There was a social media banter between Bengaluru FC and East Bengal FC on the last Friday. Constantine recalled that it was sweet to get that win after that banter and delighted with the role played by the fans in their victory

"I said a couple of weeks ago, wherever you go, there's a Bengali in the building. It really is true. They have been tremendous so far. I need them to continue that through thick and thin. We are going to have moments where we are not as good as we want to be, but they have supported us so far. I understand everybody wants to win every game. Nobody more than me. But, we've got to try and keep it real. One step at a time, and we'll get there. I promise them. We'll get there"

Constantine also spoke a word on the progress of young players. There are few players, we scarcely heard of before but started making consistent starts with the team and became the most pivotal members of his side.

"When I arrived, Lalchungnunga was one of the twelve guys that we found at the Maidan. I asked him What position do you play?  I'm a right back, he said and I said 'no, you're not, you're going to play center back. You're not playing right back anymore okay(Laughs). I think he played one or two times for his club but he worked very, very hard and there is Tuhin Das, a local boy that I went to watch the reserve games with a couple of months ago, he's my kind of player and now he is here. Himanshu Jangra, he's another good possibility. There are one or two young kids in the team. They need time, the right type of training and the individual positional play that they need. So we will give them all the help we can and hopefully they will be successful for East Bengal."

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