We have to win against Odisha FC: East Bengal FC’s Carles Cuadrat
The Spanish head coach shares his views ahead of their next match against Odisha FC.
East Bengal FC head coach Carles Cuadrat is aiming to secure full points against Odisha FC in their next Indian Super League (ISL) match at the Vivekananda Yuba Bharati Krirangan in Kolkata on Friday as the Spaniard eyes a place in the top six with the Red and Gold Brigade
East Bengal FC have so far secured two victories and four draws in nine matches. The Spaniard had previously emphasized the need to convert draws into wins.
He reiterated the same and expressed the belief that a draw would not be a satisfactory result against the Kalinga Warriors, as his team requires more wins to secure a place in the playoffs.
"We have only two victories; we need victories. Our dream is to be in the playoffs. So we have to win (this game)," Cuadrat stated in the pre-match press conference.
Odisha FC have proven to be very dangerous in set-piece situations, especially with the duo of Ahmed Jahouh and Mourtada Fall.
Cuadrat acknowledges their strength in set pieces but also emphasizes that, up to this point, his team has performed well in defending set pieces. He hopes to continue this solid defensive performance against Odisha FC.
"We know that Odisha FC are a dangerous team in set-pieces. We have been working on trying to defend well in set pieces. We have been a good team in defending them, not in scoring, but I hope that the plan for tomorrow works in that aspect of the game," he said.
Cuadrat urges his players to leverage the home advantage for better results and draw strength from their numerous fans' support.
“We always want to take advantage of the love that our supporters give us. Playing at home, we have been getting a lot of better results than we were getting before the summer,” he said.
“We are enjoying the relationship with the supporters, and they are helping us a lot to get some results. It's very important to change the mentality of the people to create a nice atmosphere between our players and the supporters,” Cuadrat added.
Cuadrat reminisces about his Barcelona days with Sergio Lobera and expresses immense respect for his opponent. He opines that both of them are now in different situations compared to their previous endeavours in the ISL but also mentions that the upcoming match will be very challenging, as both of them will be desperate for a win.
“Sergio Lobera and I are very friends,” the Spaniard said.
“We worked together in Barcelona 20 years ago, and we have a lot of respect for each other. So, of course, he's going to try to win against us. Of course, we're going to try to win against them, and the past is the past. It was a completely different situation with a completely different team. So we are in a new situation, both of us with new projects, and let's see who takes the points tomorrow,” he signed off.
Nishu Kumar joined his head coach ahead of their upcoming home game against Odisha FC. The full-back played a significant role in their last match against Mumbai City FC, contributing to a remarkable defensive display that resulted in a clean sheet against the Islanders.
He emphasizes the importance of keeping clean sheets and discusses how it boosts the confidence of the team.
“As a defender, when we get clean sheets, it boosts our confidence, and I always try to give my best for the team,” he stated.
“I feel like we are in the right dynamic right now, and we are working really hard to get the points. So I'm very confident for tomorrow's game. It will be a good game,” Kumar added.
The 26-year-old has reunited with his former head coach at East Bengal FC. He reflects on his time playing under the Spaniard and also on how the coach has helped him regain his confidence.
“We worked together at Bengaluru FC before. Coach always showed confidence in me, and as a professional player, I always try to give my best.”
“Now I have the chance to play for East Bengal FC. Everyone knows about East Bengal FC. It's a big legacy. Coming to East Bengal FC with the coach, I'm getting the confidence, and I think I'm on the right path now, and I'm very confident about it,” he concluded.