SC East Bengal head coach Mario Rivera stated that despite being ruled out of the race for qualifying in the top four, the team will continue to fight for the win in their remaining fixtures.

The Red and Gold Brigade’s journey that remains is deemed to be a tough one with three of their matches lined up against semi-final contenders in Kerala Blasters FC, Mumbai City FC, and Bengaluru FC. However, with nothing to lose, SC East Bengal could well spoil some teams’ chances.

Ahead of SC East Bengal’s clash against Kerala Blasters FC, coach Rivera addressed the media during the official pre-match press conference.

Here are the excerpts from the press conference.

Three out of your four remaining matches are against teams in the top half. Do you think you can play a role in influencing the top four race from below?

Really we are not thinking about that. We are thinking only to try to win the next match, but I'm sure that any of them are happy to play with SC East Bengal now because they know that we will be a very difficult team to win.

When can we see Fran Sota get his first start in the Hero ISL?

Yeah, Fran already is fit, is ready, and in the next matches we will see him.

What is your assessment of Kerala Blasters FC?

Kerala is a very good team, they have a very good offensive part and they also have a good defense. They have some players that cannot play tomorrow but they have a long squad. The coach has adapted very well for the Indian Super League and they are giving a very good performance, a balanced team that plays good in attack, good in defense, is a really good team.

Is there any update on Jackichand Singh?

Yes, with Jackie we are happy because he's training now. Last two-three trainings, he could do all the practice and we will see today hopefully, he's well and if he's well we can put him on the list for the match.

Is there any injury concerns in the team?

Yeah, we have some players, but we have to wait for this afternoon training and after today we will see which players will come to play but I think some of the players will not be on the list.

What do you think of Hira Mondal? Has he been a revelation this season?

Yeah, it's one of the revelations for sure but he's doing very well many things also, he needs to learn other things. The important thing now for him is to try to learn every day if he starts to think that he's a good player or something like that. This is the moment that the players stop developing and now for us the important thing is to try to teach him every day to do better and that he can play with confidence and correct the mistakes and do the things that he's doing well for a long time.

Would you like to say a word on former club captain Lalrindika Ralte calling time on his career?

Yesterday I saw the news. For me was a big pleasure to coach Ralte.

He’s a nice person nice player, he always gives his best and he was a very good example for all of the Indian people. and I texted him yesterday wishing him all the best now that he is out of the football and I'm very happy to have met him in in the same team and I think he’s a good example for the young players for learning from him.