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ATK Mohun Bagan v East Bengal

East Bengal's Mario Rivera: ATK Mohun Bagan's positional attack is not special

7:49 PM SGT 28/1/22
Mario Rivera East Bengal ISL 8
Rivera has commended East Bengal's defense against FC Goa whose attack the Spanish coach says is better than Bagan

East Bengal gaffer Mario Rivera has charged ATK Mohun Bagan with more of an obligation to win Saturday's Kolkata derby in the ongoing Indian Super League (ISL).

Despite languishing at the bottom, and three years without a derby victory, the Spaniard has played down pressure on his side.

What Mario Rivera had to say?

"Of course, we can win a derby. Never mind the position on the table when you're facing a top rival and you're ready to win. Nothing else comes before the derby," he also addressed the morale of the team following the 4-0 loss to Hyderabad.

"After the defeat (to Hyderabad), we are all professionals. This is normal. Sometimes you lose, draw or win. After the match, if you win, you have to start again from scratch. And if you lose, it's the same."

'More pressure on ATK Mohun Bagan'

East Bengal have won just one match this season - a 2-1 win over FC Goa before the last defeat. However, Rivera has stated that Bagan have more pressure to win the derby.

"They are close to being in the top four and they are the favourites. I think they have more pressure, but it (pressure) is the same (for both teams) in a derby. We also want three points, but for them a draw is not useful to reach the top four.

"Never mind if you're at the bottom or the top. You need to win the derby. For me a derby in any country, in all cases, is always 50-50."

Can East Bengal stop Bagan's attack?

Rivera has expressed his confidence in his men to come on top against their arch-rivals while expecting the new signings such as Marcelo Ribeiro and Fran Sota to improve the team.

"We're defending well the positional attack of teams. For us it's more important now to improve in transistion. The positional attack of ATK Mohun Bagan for us is not a special situation. We stopped Goa who have better positional attack and in this situation we can stop ATK Mohun Bagan.

"About our new signings, we will have a more balanced and we will improve. We don't have much time. The new players have to get fit soon," the East Bengal boss remarked.