Arthur Papas: East Bengal have the strongest squad in India

The Dempo gaffer conceded that there is room for improvement for his side but also stressed that the unit has improved over the last few matches.


Arthur Papas, the Dempo SC coach remarked that his team has shown commendable improvement lately after a stuttering start to their campaign where they are yet to notch a single win after four matchdays.

"At this stage we are not completely satisfied with our results although as every game has progressed, we have shown improvement as a collective unit in our performances. As a group we have shown in the last match against Salgaocar that we can compete very well with the top teams in the league and we just need to put forward a consistent 90 minute performance," Papas told Goal.

And the first victory wouldn’t be easy to churn out as they face East Bengal away from home. On being asked if one could expect a few changes in their line-up, Papas opined that he shall seek the advice of Mauricio Afonso, the clubs assistant coach, given that the latter was in-charge of the team for the last two outings as the Australian had to go back home to sort his visa issues.

"As I have only been back from Australia for two days, at this stage I will be learning on the advice of my assistant Mauricio Afonso regarding the performances from the previous two matches when deciding the starting line-up and tactical details," he explained.

The coach also informed that leaving out the few nagging injury woes, he has a fit squad at his disposal. “There are still a couple long-term injuries which were inherited but other than that we have the majority of players available," Papas informed.

The Australian tactician heaped praise on the Kolkata outfit and backed the ‘favourites’ tag they have with regards to winning the I-League title this season.

"East Bengal in my opinion have the strongest squad in India and deservedly are the favourites for this year's I-League. Through being involved in the AFC Cup they are also the most match hardened team in the I-League as they have been exposed over the past month to matches of a higher level.”

“Having coached against them last year and been based in Kolkata I am keen to see how they have developed because they have in essence only added to what I considered a team full of talent," Papas concluded.

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