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Mario Rivera: Marti Crespi is still an East Bengal player

8:43 PM SGT 12/2/20
East Bengal vs Indian Arrows
Although Marti Crespi continues to be an East Bengal player, Mario Rivera did not reveal why he is not training with the group...

East Bengal are going through troubled times and before taking on Punjab FC, coach Mario Rivera is looking for some luck. 

"We only have the pressure to win. No other pressure. I believe in luck,  but I also believe that you have to look for luck. Sometimes you have good luck and sometimes you have bad luck," stated the Spanish coach. 

He informed that Lalrindika Ralte will miss the match on Thursday and although Gurwinder Singh is practicing with the team, he has not yet signed for East Bengal. 

If East Bengal lose against Punjab then it will be the third straight defeat for the red and golds. But Rivera is confident that his team can bounce back against the former I-League champions as the players are charged to change their fortunes. 

"We have to work hard and try to be better every game. If they (the players) know they are improving that is the best motivation for him. When a team is losing, the mentality is soft. When you start to practice again, the confidence goes up and you are ready for the match. In the match, if you concede or miss many chances the confidence again goes down. Our layers make mistakes. All players make mistakes. This is normal. The difference is sometimes a small mistake, and we concede. But sometimes a big mistake and then we do not concede. 

"It is not too difficult to bounce back. Small things can change your fortune. TRAU was losing at first and then they won five matches. Players have an excellent attitude. At one moment, things can change for the better," stated the former assistant to Alejandro Menendez. 

Rivera assured that Marti Crespi is still an East Bengal player but he might not make it to the matchday squad. 

"We have six foreigners. Marti Crespi is still an East Bengal player. I never said he was not fit. I chose the best XI that I thought we could win the match. There is a reason why Marti has been practicing separately but I cannot say that in front of anyone other than club officials or players."

When quizzed that whether the next match will be the most difficult match in his career, he replied," I coached in Brunei. They are 217 in FIFA rankings. I played against Thailand, Myanmar with Brunei. Tomorrow is an easy match compared to those matches."

Ansumana Kromah accompanied his coach and the Liberian striker remains unfazed that he has not found the net in the last three matches. 

"There is no pressure. When Ronaldo signed for Juve, he did not score for six-seven games. This is football. We want to win. We are fighting as a team. I believe in myself. We are playing well. Yet we lost. The game we won against Chennai we missed so many chances. In the second half, we scored. Sometimes we need a bit of luck. I am ready to beat any defender. We will do anything possible to score," stated the striker.