SC East Bengal head coach Mario Rivera is content with his team’s performances and attitude, and wants them to give their everything to win the remaining matches, as the Red and Gold Brigade clash against NorthEast United FC in Match 105 of the Hero Indian Super League (ISL) 2021-22 season on Monday at the Tilak Maidan Stadium in Vasco, Goa.
Rivera’s men are placed last in the league table and win in their remaining matches can help them advance their position. The 44-year-old is pleased with his team’s performances and stated that it reflects the well-being of the team.
Ahead of the match against NorthEast United FC, Rivera addressed the media during the official pre-match press conference.
Here are the excerpts from the coach’s press conference:
How crucial is this game going to be for the club to avoid the last position and also finish an otherwise disappointing season on a happy note?
Yes, it’s crucial because if we win, we will overcome them in the table, and we will try to do that. The final test is good because we’re playing well but we also want to get some good results. You have nothing to lose now.
How will the team approach the last two games?
The team approach for the last two games will be to try to win, same approach as last matches. We will do everything we can to win the match and that’s all. We are only thinking about this match, and after the NorthEast game, we will start thinking about the next [match].
What is the team talk like, and how are you motivating the players?
If we watch the last four or five matches, I think I don’t need to explain again how to motivate the team. The team is playing better, with a better attitude, better offensive style, and the mood of the team is really good. All of the players are training very hard, enjoying it, and we don’t need to do something special to motivate them.
What is the reason for signing Ananta Tamang so late in the season?
Yes, the reason is very simple. You need one Asian quota player, and Tomislav [Mrcela] got a good offer to go to Australia. He asked [me] to go to Australia for a full season in a good team as he got a good offer. We let him go and after that we needed an Asian player, so we signed this centre-back.
You have played quite a few formations in the last couple of matches. Do you decide that as per the opponent’s formation or is it your strategy?
It is 80% strategy and 20% based on the opponent. I am in modern football, you need to play in different formations, it’s much better for you, it’s more difficult for the opponent. Also, I don’t like to play the first eleven in every match. We played the last two matches with 18 players.
And I think the performance is going up with each match, and this is good because it reflects that the team is training well and that all the players are ready to play. And if all the players are ready to play, then we can choose a different formation, the best formation to use in the next match.