In a must-win game on February 24, East Bengal failed to pick up full points and had to remain content with just one point against a weak Aizawl side.
Now they are up against another title aspirant Real Kashmir FC. On facing Kashmir, East Bengal boss Alejandro Menendez said, “When you play in less than three days it is not enough to get the best from the team and this is bad for football but we are fully motivated and almost recovered. We are ready to play good and win tomorrow.”
The Spanish coach graciously accepted the suspension of his team’s star striker Jobby Justin due to aggression shown on the field against Aizawl FC.
He said, “I agree with the decision of Jobby Justin’s suspension. I think it is unfair because after the referee sent off the player the aggression was not necessary. Yes obviously for us Jobby is an important player and this is a big miss for us.”
Menendez suggested that he was glad that his team did not have to travel to Srinagar under the current circumstances. “Of course this is better for the team. Right now in Srinagar, there is a war-like situation. Now the players can play with a free mind and can focus properly,” said the Spaniard.
The East Bengal coach refused to believe that his defence has performed poorly in recent times. He said, “I think my team is very good in offence. But we have a balance in defence as well. Now we know that it is difficult to get the title but we will fight till the end.”