East Bengal FC head coach Carles Cuadrat urged his players to display the ‘never-say-die’ attitude against Mohun Bagan SG in the reverse fixture of the Kolkata Derby in the Indian Super League (ISL) at the Vivekananda Yuba Bharati Krirangan in Kolkata on Sunday.

The Red and Gold Brigade played out a 2-2 draw against their arch-rivals in the opening fixture of the high-voltage clash on February 3. However, since then, Cuadrat's men have failed to maintain their good momentum, losing five of their last seven games, whereas the Mariners have been experiencing a positive dynamic and are currently unbeaten in their last five matches.

East Bengal FC edged Mohun Bagan SG twice this season in the cup competitions and they will be aiming to secure their first Kolkata derby triumph in the ISL.

Cuadrat acknowledged Mohun Bagan SG's strengths and their recent form but expressed his full belief in his players, who are determined to change things in their favour to continue their pursuit of the final playoff spot.

“For the dynamic of results, I think Mohun Bagan SG are the favourites. We have to be honest, and we have to be humble. But also, I trust in my players, and I know that they are giving (their) everything," Cuadrat said in the pre-match press conference.

“We will stick to a specific match plan. I believe that all the game plans we've prepared against Mohun Bagan SG this season have worked well, even in the final. Although we lost the final, we came very close to achieving the result based on the way we played against Mohun Bagan SG,” he continued.

“In four derbies this season, we won twice. In the third one, we were very close to winning, but Petratos’s goal in the 88th minute levelled the scoreline, and in the other one, we lost. Let's see tomorrow what kind of game we can see here,” the Spaniard further added.

The Spaniard wants his players to exhibit their indomitable spirit and fighting character in this crucial game, aiming to bring smiles to their supporters' faces.

“We are going to defend our logo. We're going to try to play with the never-say-die attitude to make our fans happy,” he commented.

Cuadrat conveyed that his players are reinvigorated to play in the Kolkata Derby in front of thousands of supporters. Highlighting their recent performances against Mohun Bagan SG, he urged his players to showcase their potential in the significant match, aiming to secure the much-needed three points.

“I know that my players are going to be very motivated. It's a special game. Until now, we have been getting very good results in all the derbies this season,” he asserted.

“In the ISL, we got a draw in the first leg, which was the first draw in the derby in the ISL. We know that it's a challenge, but Mohun Bagan SG are a top team. They are fighting for the League Shield, and we are fighting for the 6th position. So, we will try to get the result,” he shared.

East Bengal FC have consistently dropped points this season, leading to a loss of their dynamic. The head coach is urging his players to restore positive vibes through a promising performance against Habas's team.

“Every game is an opportunity to change the dynamic. So we hope that tomorrow we can change the dynamic for us in a positive way,” he stated.

“I think that they (MBSG) are now in a good dynamic; they are getting results, and when you get the results, you get momentum that helps you to go for the right result. So, it's quite similar for all the teams. They have different moments in the season. If we see, we have a very good moment in the Durand Cup. Then we have quite a good start to the Indian Super League. But then a bad dynamic results. Then we get another good moment during the Super Cup. But now again, we're struggling a little bit with the results. And for Mohun Bagan SG, it has been quite similar. Sometimes there is a good dynamic, then a bad dynamic. Now again, they (MBSG) are in a good dynamic. So, let’s see,” he explained.

We have the confidence to beat them: Saul Crespo

 

Saul Crespo accompanied his head coach ahead of the high-octane clash. The Spanish midfielder suffered a thigh injury against the Mariners and has been sidelined for the last couple of weeks.

Crespo is very focused on this prestigious match and has conveyed his complete faith in his teammates to achieve a positive outcome from the game.

“We know that Mohun Bagan SG are a very good team,” he said.

“But we need to beat them for the fight of the top six. I fully trust in my team; we have the confidence to beat them,” he concluded.