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East Bengal v Minerva Punjab

I-League: East Bengal’s Alejandro Menendez - No pressure on us

1:55 AM EST 12/3/18
Alejandro Menendez Aizawl FC East Bengal 2018-19
The Spanish coach wants his side to put in a top performance in front of their home fans…

East Bengal are placed eighth on the I-League table as they have amassed six points from four outings. Coach Alejandro Menendez opines that his team have been playing well despite having suffered back-to-back defeats.

“The team is playing well I think. We lost our last two matches but now our priority is to win tomorrow against Minerva Punjab

“Sometimes there are longer breaks and sometimes the breaks are short. Not sure if this is good for the team or not. We got some time to prepare the team. We are building the team for future,” he said.

On Tuesday they will be up against Minerva Punjab, who recently registered a win over Indian Arrows. Menendez believes that the north Indian outfit are a difficult side to play against.

“Minerva is a good team. They are difficult to play and defend against them. But we are playing at home we have to win. We have to play in our own style and win the game,” he mentioned.

The high profile Kolkata derby is on December 16 and Menendez said that his side are only focussed on the tie against Minerva.

“We are not thinking about the derby at moment but we are thinking about tomorrow's match. 

“Mahmoud Al-Amna is training everyday and trying to recover. Now we can't say more than that. He is trying his best,” he also shared an update on the Syrian midfielder’s fitness.

East Bengal have been woeful at the back and have utilized fringe players in midfield such as Kamalpreet Singh and Lalrindika Ralte. The Red and Gold’s have struggled to control the tempo of the game however, Menendez remained defiant that while there is some scope for improvement, it is not particularly in midfield and defence.

“We are trying to correct our game overall by watching the previous matches but not particularly focusing on defence and midfield.

“It is always better for us to play in front of our home crowd. No pressure at all.  The team has to do well. It is a long league. We have to try to win the home match tomorrow,” he concluded.

Defender Borja Gomez too has been under fire as the Kolkata giants have been subpar in their last two matches.

“Our defence didn't do well in the last match. Some mistakes are there which we have to improve in this match. Tomorrow is very important as we are playing at home. We have to play together and win the match,” said the Spanish centre-back.