I-League 2018-19: Floyd Pinto - Playing in the I-League helps the players immensely

Arrows vs East Bengal
East Bengal
East Bengal’s Spanish coach is cautious and is not taking the Indian Arrows' challenge lightly….

A spirited Indian Arrows side take on Kolkata giants East Bengal in a crucial I-League encounter on Tuesday at the Kalinga Stadium, Bhubaneswar.

The India colts are high on confidence after beating Aizawl FC away from home in their last match ahead of the tough fixture against the giants.

Speaking about the match, Arrows coach Floyd Pinto said, “Like every match, we have prepared ourselves to be at the best possible condition during the game. I think in the last four matches we played really well, it depended on the way we play.

“As I have said earlier, if we can keep a clean sheet, we are not only capable of taking one but three points. So there are a lot of factors to take into consideration in tomorrow’s (Tuesday) game, one is that the last match East Bengal played was on December 28 and the last match we played was on January 5 so they are well rested, they have got some new players. It is going to be interesting to see what combination we put in and how the boys tackle the new East Bengal.”

East Bengal’s newest recruit former Bengaluru FC played Antonio ‘Toni’ Dovale has finally signed for the club and will make his debut in Bhubaneswar.

Speaking about facing a quality East Bengal side with good foreign players, Pinto opined, “It has been the case for us in every game in I-League this time so I don’t think that’s something we need to pay too much attention to. This is the reason we are playing the I-League.

“We want to play against quality players, we want that competition, we want that rush to play against good quality foreigners and good quality Indian professionals. So far the boys have stepped up really well and at this point of time, my boys are well set in the I-League. We are ready to perform well.”

The Arrows head coach also acknowledged that playing in the I-League helps the young players to grow as footballers. He said, “Playing in the I-League helps the players immensely. When we played against Aizawl in the last match, we learnt a lot from the first game we played at home. We were not only determined that we can get three points, but we were also confident from the performance we put in Bhubaneswar that we can get three points.

“We scored early in the last match and we could have scored a couple of more goals. The experience of playing the I-League teams twice in a season is a great experience for the boys and they are learning a lot.”

Arrows vs East Bengal

East Bengal coach Alejandro Menendez sounded cautious ahead of facing the young guns of Indian Arrows. He said, “We must respect the Indian Arrows team. We know that that this is not an easy match for us. We will try to win and we have to be very competitive and execute all the things we have prepared.”

The Spaniard spoke about remaining competitive throughout the 90 minutes of the match. He said, “Our main strategy for the match will be to be ourselves and to do the combination play. But the most important thing is that we need to be very competitive throughout the 90 minutes.”