We may win or lose but we’ll make the fans proud: East Bengal FC’s Ivan Gonzalez

Defender Ivan Gonzalez suggested that he gets a special feeling being an East Bengal FC player due to the club’s rich history and tradition and the passion with which the fans support the team.

Gonzalez who joined the Red and Gold brigade from FC Goa in the summer has pledged to give his all on the pitch for the Kolkata club and has promised to deliver a performance that the fans will be proud of.

The Spaniard will face his former employers in his first match at the Salt Lake stadium and he expects FC Goa to have a similar playing style under new head coach Carlos Pena.

Read: Want to restore East Bengal FC’s pride, but I’m no magician, says Stephen Constantine

Gonzalez addressed the media during the pre-match press conference.

Here are the excerpts from the conversation:

You have played in Hero ISL before. So what made you join East Bengal FC and do you find any difference in the supporters here in Kolkata?

When I came here to India. I spent a lot of time in a hotel. There were no fans, nothing. I can feel a difference right now at this club with incredible history. I can feel this here. Goa also has ideas and great supporters but I can feel the difference because this club has more than 100 years of history. It's crazy for me to come here and play for East Bengal FC, the supporters and this is the difference.

We need to respect this history and we need to play aggressively for this club not just for the history but if you see the last two seasons, it's been hard for the club and supporters. Now we have a new investor. They have put their confidence in us and they need results.

We expect a full-house crowd to support the team against FC Goa. What message do you want to give to them?

When you play football, you want to play in front of your fans. You want that they support you a lot. Of course, they want us to win but the only thing that we can promise is that we will work hard. We are a team that needs to play aggressively, be compact and be good in defence and take our chances. But if we do this job then, of course, a win is more possible for us. I can say that we will win 3-0 against FC Goa, and if you want me to say that then it's alright but I will be lying. We are not here for the money. We are working very hard. We do analysis in the hotel. My message to the fans is that come and support us. Maybe we win, maybe we draw or maybe we lose but they will feel very proud of this team.

What is your assessment of FC Goa's attacking line-up?

I spent two years there and they have the same style every year. They have the ability to build the attack from the back and keep possession. Now they have a new head coach but maybe they will keep the same style. We have already played a team with a similar style.

You are a former FC Goa player, so how motivated are you for the match and have you shared any tips with the coach to stop them?

I am very excited because when you play against a former team, it's good. You use this motivation in a good way. This is our first game here in Kolkata, with our fans. After two years they are coming here to watch us in Hero ISL. I hope we see a strong and aggressive team and we can give them the win. We need it for the confidence of the team but also for them because they are coming after two long years.

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