Lalchhungnunga will go a long way in his career: East Bengal FC's Ivan Gonzalez

Having played nine matches in the current edition of the Hero Indian Super League (ISL), East Bengal FC occupy the eighth spot in the table with 9 points (3 wins and 6 defeats).

After securing a 3-1 win over Jamshedpur FC in Jamshedpur on November 27, the Red & Gold Brigade lost their next away fixture 0-2 to Hyderabad FC last Friday (December 9). However, it wasn't a one-sided game by any means as EBFC created multiple chances and displayed a fighting spirit against the defending champions.

Stephen Constantine and Co. will next host Mumbai City FC in their fourth home fixture this season at the Vivekananda Yuba Bharati Krirangan on Friday (December 16).

In the six meetings between the two sides so far, EBFC have beaten their Mumbai counterparts twice, lost thrice and drawn once. They last met at this year's Durand Cup. In the 7-goal thriller played at Kolkata's Kishore Bharati Krirangan on September 3, the Red & Golds beat the Islanders 4-3, courtesy a brace each from Cleiton Silva and Sumeet Passi.

In a chat with the EBFC Media Team ahead of Friday's match, Spanish defender Ivan Gonzalez spoke about his team's current form, the experience of captaining East Bengal, the Durand Cup win against Mumbai, and more.

Here are the excerpts:

On his experience with East Bengal FC

My experience with East Bengal has been quite good so far. Of course, we want better results, but this is a new project with new players, new staff and a new investor in Emami. We are gradually improving and will get much better by the end of the season.

On his team's Hero ISL 2022/23 campaign

We are taking one game at a time and going step-by-step. Despite winning convincingly against Jamshedpur FC, we went into the Hyderabad match with a fresh mindset. Similarly, we've forgotten the loss against Hyderabad and are now focusing on the Mumbai game. We know they score a lot of goals. That said, it's a new game and a new challenge for us.

On captaining East Bengal FC

For me, captaincy is all about leading by example. If you do well yourself, you inspire others to perform better. I want to help my teammates as much as I can. For example, I really appreciate the fact that my fellow centre-back Nunga (Lalchungnunga) listens to my feedback. This quality will help him go a long way.

On the Durand Cup win against Mumbai City FC

The Durand Cup win over Mumbai will give us confidence. We defeated them within a few days of arriving in Kolkata. If we can beat them once, we can do it again. We'll surely carry that confidence into Friday's match.

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