'We are not on vacation' - Selangor coach Irfan Bakti

The Malaysian side will take on Trevor Morgan's East Bengal in an AFC Cup group stage match at the Salt Lake Stadium on Wednesday....
Selangor FA coach Irfan Bakti was in no mood to be subtle as he shot out a warning to his rivals East Bengal during the pre-match media conference before the Asian Football Confederation (AFC) Cup Group H match to be held in Kolkata.

"We are not on a vacation here. We will be going for [full] points. Mind you. I can assure you on that. The first quarter will be crucial," said Bakti. The coach reiterated that his side would not sit back to defend and instead would take the game to East Bengal.

"“How long can you defend! At one point of time we will have to attack. I always believe in playing good attacking football. The match is very important for us and we will play an attacking game hoping to pick up all three points," he stressed.

The game which is to kick-off at 15:00 IST is not a new experience for the Malaysian side, according to the Selangor gaffer. "We are used to it. In Malaysia sometimes we play matches in the afternoon. Weather is more or less similar. In fact here it is better. So it will not be a hurdle," revealed Irfan.

One would think the heat added with playing in the artificial surface would cause problems for the Malaysian outfit but the coach quickly rubbished such thoughts. "We are accustomed to playing on the artificial turfs in our country and in Singapore as well," revealed Bakti.

But unlike East Bengal, Selangor have done their homework on their rivals.

"They are a good team with good foreigners in both defense and attack. East Bengal are fast and have good wing play. They scored 13 goals in two matches. They have a very good striker in Andrew Barisic and defender Uga Okpara also is very impressive," Bakti praised.

"We had only seen one DVD of East Bengal against a side from Yemen and are not really aware of their current strength although I had heard that they demolished a Mohammadan Sporting side by 6-1 in the local league recently," said Bakti.

This was in stark contrast to East Bengal coach Trevor Morgan's view who felt that the first 20 minutes of the game would be crucial as his team are oblivious to the strengths and weaknesses of this formidable Malaysian outfit.

"Although my side is in good shape having won the Federation Cup and are leading the pack in I-League, I am not yet aware of the strengths and weaknesses of our rivals," said Morgan.

Morgan also felt that his team would be taking this tournament seriously despite the fixture congestion.

"We will be representing India. So why should we take this tournament lightly?" Morgan remarked. 

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