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I-League 2018-19: Alejandro Menendez expects a difficult game against Chennai City

12:39 GMT 12/11/2018
East Bengal vs Chennai City
Chennai City coach Akbar Nawaz wants full three points from the away match against giants East Bengal….

After registering back-to-back away wins, East Bengal now take on table-toppers Chennai City FC on Tuesday at the Salt Lake Stadium, Kolkata.

Ahead of the team’s first home match of the I-League 2018-19 season, Spanish coach Alejandro Menendez remained cautious.

He said, “This (Chennai City) is a good team. They have got good results in their first three matches. It will be a difficult game for us. All matches in the league are difficult. But this match is especially difficult because Chennai come here with a good away result. So they will be full of confidence.”

Alejandro expects to win their first home match of the season after picking up full six points from the first two away ties.

He said, “After these two matches team has got good confidence. We are expecting to win the home match. We expect the fans to come in numbers. We have to win the match.”

On being asked if facing the league leaders will be added pressure for East Bengal, the former Real Madrid Castilla coach suggested, “The position in the table is not important. What is important is that we will fight for three points. We have to win all the matches. They have good players including some good Spanish players. I have seen them play; they are a very strong side. We are thinking match by match.”

Chennai coach Akbar Nawaz was asked if he will be satisfied with a point from this tough away fixture, to which he replied, “I have mentioned before that when we go for a game we always go for the win. In every game, we look forward to winning. We have won two and drew one match so far but we should not get overconfident. In football, everything changes very fast. We are a new team. We are taking one game at a time. We will try to win tomorrow (Tuesday).”

On opponents East Bengal and their star foreign players, the Singaporean coach opined, “East Bengal have a rich history. Especially this being a home game they will try to win. They have won two matches already and they will try to continue the momentum. We have to be careful. 

“We have to take note of their foreign players of course. But I cannot just mark only the foreign players. All the players are important. We cannot just focus on particular players. If we do that East Bengal can hurt us.”

Nawaz confirmed that Chennai City are likely to miss star striker Pedro Manzi who had suffered an injury just below his hamstring against Gokulam Kerala. The player though has travelled with the team to Kolkata and the management will take a call tomorrow before the match.