East Bengal will hope to start the new year with their maiden win of the 2020-21 Indian Super League (ISL) season when they take on Odisha on Sunday.
Both the clubs are yet to win a game so far and are languishing at the bottom half of the league. Pointing out the similarities between the two sides, East Bengal coach Robbie Fowler suggested that his boys are raring to get the elusive win on Sunday.
"They (Odisha) have had tough times, similar to us. At times they played good football. Stuart Baxter is a great manager, his reputation is incredible. He has got a relatively young team with a little bit of experience. We are very similar teams and there are makings of a good game. We have seen any team can beat anyone and it is an opportunity for both sides to come and get those three points on the table. It is a case of who wants more and our lads really want it."
The British manager mentioned that he and his coaching staff have taken all the right steps in developing the squad and also suggested that the team has made a lot of progress since the beginning of the season.
"We have progressed well,' said Fowler. "We all know what happened at the start of the season. We had a squad, we had to build on that. Progressively we got better in every single game. We found it difficult because we were playing catch up. We were trying to train but in between games it was hard to train the players in what we wanted them to do with the games coming thick and fast. It was a case of more the matches we played the better we would become and fitter.
"The lads have done really well in the last couple of weeks. There are lots and lots of positives. We have not won yet but we have lost just one in four. We are taking the right steps and every step taken is for the benefit of the club."
On the very first day of the January transfer window, the Red and Golds announced the arrival of former Wolverhampton forward Bright Enobakhare as their seventh foreigner. The Liverpool great was all praise for the 22-year-old Nigerian footballer and suggested that the newcomer will perfectly blend into the squad.
"We have been looking for the seventh foreigner for a long time now. It is tough getting players in because of the quarantine and isolation. Bright was on board straight away. We had a perfect conversation and he understood everything that he needs to do. He is a clever and intelligent player. I wouldn't say that he is our architectural number nine who will grab a load of goals but he is a player who can open up defences. He has got quick feet and he will add a lot to this squad.
"He is a young lad who is coming into this league and that is a scoop. We see foreign players coming to this league and rightly or wrongly people think that they are coming at the end of their career. People will always come with the aspiration of doing well but when you get someone like Bright with his age then it is a perfect fit."
The East Bengal manager also suggested that with the arrival of the seventh overseas player, he will now have a selection headache something every coach aspires to have in order to churn out good results.
"We wanted seven foreign players to come in and make things a little bit difficult for me. I have decisions to make now whereas in the past six, seven games I did not have a decision to make. Now it is a headache but it is a healthy headache. As a manager, you should have all good players on the pitch," said Fowler.