East Bengal FC head coach Stephen Constantine is optimistic about his plans against Hyderabad FC and wants his players to implement them on the pitch when the two sides square off in Matchweek 10 of the Hero Indian Super League (ISL) at the G.M.C Balayogi Athletic Stadium, in Hyderabad, on Friday.

Stepping onto the field after refreshing themselves in last Matchweek's break, Constantine warned his players of a difficult task ahead in their next two matches against HFC and Mumbai City FC. The East Bengal FC head coach stated that there are more goals to attain and in the process of doing so and he needed his players to keep an attitude of not being satisfied and continue working hard to achieve the desired results.

The 60-year-old also spoke about the ongoing winter transfer window, the injury status of few players, and a lot more, as he addressed the media alongside forward Thongkhosiem (Semboi) Haokip in the official pre-match press conference.

Here are the excerpts from Constantine’s press conference:

Hyderabad FC, on paper, are very strong. Is there any special plan to restrict them?

Constantine: Yes, there is, of course. We plan and prepare for all the teams. It’s a question of us actually implementing these things on the field. So, yes, we are looking forward to the game. We are ready, hopefully we get a result.

Before going into the break, what is the target point of your team because they are eighth in the league standings?

Constantine: We have two games, I would like to win both of those games, and then we’ll see where that is because if the other teams win their games then we are in the same place. As I said, we have no easy games, we have very tough games against two of the top teams in the league as far as I’m concerned, and there will be difficult games, so we will take one game at a time. With Hyderabad FC, we hopefully get something out of there and then move on to the next game.

Regarding targets, I told you we would not finish in last place, that was my early target. Now, we changed it, now we want something more and when we get to that point, there will be something else. It’s always going to be 'never satisfied' and this has to be the attitude, for me, for the players, for the staff. That’s how it should be in professional sports.

Is Charis Kyriakou available for the upcoming match against Hyderabad FC?

Constantine: I would say it’s 50-50. He has the mask, it’s a question of him being comfortable wearing the mask. Obviously, there’s still some tenderness there from the injury but he’s training because he’s that type of player, he wants to play every game. 

Apart from Kyriakou’s injury, what is the injury status of the team?

Constantine: As I said, Charis is 50-50, Amarjit (Singh) is out, and of course, Sarthak (Golui) is out. Everybody else is okay. Souvik (Chakrabarti) is training but he’s not ready for 90 minutes. Obviously, he needs time after dengue, but he’s in training and that’s good.

The winter transfer window is open. Are you thinking about signing any new players in this window?

Constantine: Maybe. We will see. There are a lot of things happening, with players, with staff, with the team. Some things I can honestly say to you, yes, and some things I have to keep because nothing has been decided or determined or any of those things. So, I’m not trying to dismiss your questions but I don’t have a definitive answer so if I don’t have then I can’t tell you, yes we are doing this, or, no, we are doing that. 

We have another two games before we have a break which will last for two weeks. So, we have time to think about this, we are thinking about things, of course. We are a professional football club, so we’re always looking for new options, new possibilities. I’m thinking January, thinking in the summer, which players are going to stay, which players are going to go, all of these things, they happen throughout the season. It doesn’t just happen, oh it’s December what are we doing in January. For me, the January window begins in September. Who will be available if this happens, who will be available if that happens, can we afford them, do we have the money to do this or not. All of these things you have to take into consideration.

I have been thinking about this since September and for the summer window, I will start thinking about it in January because you need to be ahead otherwise you will not get the players you want or you will spend crores of rupees for players that you don’t have any history about. You have to know what you’re doing before you do it, you don’t just get players because it’s December. You have to plan for these things.

Here are the excerpts from Semboi’s press conference:

What is your assessment about the opponent - Hyderabad FC?

Semboi: They are a good team and we are working hard to get the results, so let’s see.

What are your targets for this season?

Semboi: I want to score but the most important thing is how we play as a team and get the three points against Hyderabad FC.