East Bengal FC head coach Carles Cuadrat urged his players to display their never-say-die attitude and fight until the very last minute to secure points, as his team will face NorthEast United FC in matchweek 8 of the Indian Super League (ISL) at the Vivekananda Yuba Bharati Krirangan in Kolkata on Monday.

With securing five points in six matches, East Bengal FC are placed ninth in the points table, but the Spaniard is hopeful that this scene could easily be changed if they could get points in their next couple of games.

“We have to take advantage of the next two games to try to get points at home. In one week, we have the opportunity to be here next Sunday with six more points. That will make a big difference," Cuadrat stated in the pre-match press conference.

Due to a single unforced mistake, East Bengal FC had to share spoils against Chennaiyin FC in their last game; otherwise, the Kolkata-based club could easily secure a win over the Marina Machans. Cuadrat urged his players to continue fighting and not allow themselves to lose points in this manner. Speaking in this context, he said:

“In the last game, we almost had three points in our hands, and one unforced mistake cost us two points.”

“So, it's that kind of message to keep fighting, to not allow ourselves to lose cheap points, because if we get all the points that we have been losing (because we didn't control the game), now we should be in a very different position at the table,” he shared.

The former Bengaluru FC head coach is well aware of the significance of each point, and the players are determined to reflect their hard work on the pitch to ensure points in their upcoming match against the Highlanders.

“There is a lot of work behind it (every match),” he said.

“East Bengal FC is a professional club, and everybody is trying their best. But we have to be the first to realize the situation, and of course, we're expecting different results in the last game. So, still, it’s only six games that we have played,” he continued.

“So, it's time for all of us to give results — to show the good things that we are doing in the training, the motivational things that we're doing, the psychological aspects, and the physical aspects that we're working on. I hope everything goes together to get results,” he added.

Cuadrat feels his team needs to prepare themselves for showcasing competitive performances in their upcoming fixtures.

“I see the table, and I also see the performance of the teams, and I think that we are a very competitive team. We are not far away in points from the 6th position, and there is a long league to play,” he stated.

“So, this is my message to the supporters, to the players, and to everybody: there are a lot of points to fight for, and we are close to that position. What we have to try is to get that positive dynamic to get the points,” he added.

The Spaniard acknowledged that his team should have left the pitch with one point on their bad day, as that single point could make a big difference in the points table by the end of the season. But the Spaniard also urged his players that to be in a club like East Bengal FC, they should have the never-say-die attitude and the mentality to fight until the final whistle.

“It has been happening that every single point has cost us a lot of effort, and a lot of things are happening in the game. So, it's obvious that we need that mental strength to get the points, even if things are not going in a good direction for us. And we have a lot of clear examples during that season that mental strength has been required,” he explained.

“This is my message to the players: we are in a club where we have a never-say-die attitude, and we have to show that on the pitch. We have to fight (for the points) until the last moment,” he added.

NorthEast United FC are unbeaten against East Bengal FC in their last five meetings. Cuadrat, who also had words of praise for his opponent, is anticipating a tough outing against the Highlanders in their next home match.

“I think that they are a team that they feel is in a positive moment because they had very bad results last season, and now they are getting some results. You can see that there is a change in the team, so it's going to be difficult. They have good foreigners that make a difference, and it's going to be a difficult team to beat, but it's the same for us," he said.

It's a dream-come-true moment for me: Vishnu PV


Vishnu PV, who made his ISL debut with the Red and Gold Brigade a couple of weeks ago, got his first start in the last match against Chennaiyin FC, where he also contributed to the goal. Vishnu, who accompanied his coach in the press conference, shared his feelings on playing in the ISL and his thoughts ahead of the NorthEast United FC match.

“I feel very happy. I would say, it's a dream-come-true moment for me,” he said.

“Every Indian football player dreams of playing in the No. 1 league (ISL). Thanks to my coach, who gave me the opportunity and trusted me. With a lot of matches, I have been learning a lot of things. We focus on the next match to get three points,” he added.

Cuadrat saw huge potential in his young winger and was optimistic about his success. However, he knew the huge difference between the Calcutta Football League and the ISL, so he is going to give him opportunities in the right way to make him ready for the future.

“The jump from the Calcutta Football League to the Indian Super League — it's just crazy.”

“Vishnu is a great talent, and we are taking care of him. We are trying to give him the opportunity in the right way. But as you see, I had to substitute him (in the last match) because he had cramps very early in the game. So we have to be realistic. It takes time to build a player. It takes a lot of sessions, a lot of training, a lot of information, and a lot of videos," he concluded.