East Bengal FC head coach Carles Cuadrat wants to secure all three points against FC Goa when they take on the Gaurs in the Indian Super League (ISL) at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in Goa on Wednesday.

The Red and Gold Brigade have had a mixed set of results lately, winning two and losing three of their last five games. However, it is relatively better when compared to Manolo Marquez's FC Goa, as the Gaurs have only managed to pick up two draws from their previous five matches. Currently, East Bengal FC stand ninth in the league table with 18 points from 17 games. On the other hand, the Gaurs, with 29 points from 16 games, are in fifth position on the points table but are still in contention for the ISL League Shield.

The press conference began with head coach Cuadrat sharing his perspective on the recent form of the Gaurs leading up to their clash.

"It happens in football that you get a dynamic that is not helping (you) and you find yourself stranded. A few weeks ago, FC Goa looked like an unbeatable team because they had a good string of results, but suddenly, they are not getting the (desired) results. It's about confidence and sometimes, a bit of luck. Whether you have a good or bad dynamic, it always changes one day. And after a series of bad games, they (FC Goa) could win again," Cuadrat stated during the pre-match press conference. 

The Spaniard shed light on the internal dynamics of the Red and Gold Brigade team, highlighting the inconsistency that has been plaguing their performance in the league and preventing them from achieving their desired results.

"I think we had a lot of problems this season, it's been a strange season. But it's true like FC Goa we didn't get the dynamic that could have gotten us to a better position, our dynamic looked like it was maybe something but suddenly something happened that broke that dynamic. It was a good dynamic we had in the Super Cup then we played a good game against Mohun Bagan Super Giant – but suddenly something happened that didn’t let us get the three points. It's the story of the season, that good dynamics always get broken. I hope we can get good dynamic in the last five games and get the points we deserve," he said.

Cuadrat stated that the team is in a do-or-die situation, and he expects everyone to go above and beyond.

When asked if he is looking to rest any players in this match for the upcoming derby, he said, "We are not in a moment to protect players because every point is crucial now. We’ll go with a full team to Goa to try to get three points. I rotated a little bit in recent games because I saw it was the way to arrive at the important moments of the competition with everyone ready and no injuries. That’s why we rotated some players against Mumbai City FC, Chennaiyin FC or Odisha FC, but now it’s a do-or-die situation so we have to use all our cards." 

Finally, there is some positive news in the camp. After Harmanjot Singh Khabra made his return in the previous game, another long-term absentee, Saul Crespo, who has been the heart of the East Bengal FC midfield, is in contention to feature in the upcoming match. 

“Saul (Crespo) has been training and finally, after seven games, we will have six foreigners ready for this game – four starting and two on the bench," Cuadrat said.

We have to focus on FC Goa: Hijazi Maher

During the pre-match press conference ahead of their match against FC Goa, 26-year-old centre-back Hijazi Maher spoke candidly about his experience at the club thus far.

He expressed gratitude for the warm welcome received from his teammates, highlighting their significant support.

Maher particularly noted how everyone has been helpful and welcoming, making his transition to the team much smoother. "I am happy to be here at this club, and I am here because the coach came to my home to bring me here. I am happy to work with him and the team," Maher said.

"For me, all the players here have quality. They help me a lot, along with the coach and the system we play," he added.

Maher shared his thoughts on playing two high-profile fixtures in such a short time and discussed his approach.

"Sure, it's an important game, but the league is about points, and whether it's a Derby or any team we play against, it's for points. Now, we have to focus on FC Goa," the defender concluded.