We need to focus more while defending set-pieces: SC East Bengal’s Manuel Diaz

SC East Bengal head coach Manuel Diaz urged his team to be more focused while defending set-pieces ahead of his side’s clash against Chennaiyin FC in the Hero Indian Super League (ISL) on Friday at the Tilak Maidan Stadium in Vasco da Gama, Goa.

The dead-ball situations is a department of concern for the Red and Gold Brigade where they have conceded most of their goals and especially in the 4-6 defeat to Odisha FC in the last match.

The 53-year-old also heaped praise on Bozidar Bandovic’s style of coaching at Chennaiyin FC and felt that his team would need to up their game to be able to compete with their opponents.

Ahead of his match against Chennaiyin FC, Diaz addressed the media during a pre-match press conference.

Here are the excerpts from the coach’s press conference:

What is the underlying problem at SC East Bengal?

Mainly, when the opponent scores the first goal, we give up. In the last match, we scored the first goal and in the next ten minutes in three set-pieces we were on the losing end, conceding three goals. We need to improve our attention in the set-pieces.

SC East Bengal have finally made their mark in terms of goalscoring. Will you take that as a positive sign ahead of the Chennaiyin FC game?

It’s incredibly positive to score goals and that is an example of the attacking unit of our team being in a good place. In football, it’s the balance of attacking as well as defending. If the opponent scored a goal, we need to work out our defence to not concede any further goals.

What is the one thing you will advise your defence line before taking the pitch against Chennaiyin FC?

With respect to the last match, we need to improve our attention, concentration, focus, target, and set-pieces in particular. We need to focus on our set-pieces because it’s extremely important, in the first match we conceded a goal from the corner, so we have to be aware.

What is your assessment of Chennaiyin FC this season and do you think you can beat them?

It’s a quality team, he’s [Bozidar Bandovic] winning, doing the right things. But we need to improve on our mistakes, we need to believe in ourselves to win our first match of the competition.

Three games in seven days. How difficult is it to keep the players refreshed?

The competition has been this way since it started. The technical staff and I have to give the right number of minutes to the players while keeping in mind the injuries in the squad.

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