East Bengal downed Mohun Bagan 3-2 in the Kolkata derby this Sunday as they moved up to the fifth spot on the I-League table. Coach Alejandro Menendez stated that the result highlighted the progress his side is making each day.
“I am here not only to win the matches but to build the team. We are improving and progressing every day. I think it was a great experience to play (the Kolkata derby). We are lucky to play such matches. It was a high quality game. These type of matches is a great advertisement for the I-League,” said the Spanish coach.
Jaime Colado made his debut for East Bengal but was accused by the Mohun Bagan camp of going down far too easily under the slightest of touches. However, Menedez was quick to come to the defence of the Spanish attacker.
“Today we used Jaime as a second striker. They performed very well. I am satisfied with the performance of every player. It was a collective effort. When a team misses a big player, they go down. But that is not important today. We played well in the first half in attack and then did well defensively in second half.
“I didn't see any play acting (Jaime). I have to see the game again. Sometimes the referee’s decisions go in our favour and sometimes they go against us. I think the referee did not influence the scoreline of the match. They officiated well. There were some mistakes like the one where Jobby (Justin) was given offside. But this is normal and it can happen,” said Menendez.
The former Sporting Gijon B coach praised the performance of Colado and believes that his team can only improve after registering back-to-back wins.
“Jaime's performance was really good. He reached some days back only. He helped us in the attack.
“The team did well in controlling the game. We are training hard to make our movements fluid. We will improve more. This performance will surely give us a lot of motivation in the future matches and help us in the title race. We want to improve in controlling the ball. In second half we lost control of the ball. From next match we will try to keep more control,” opined Menendez.
Jobby Justin has been in impressive form this season and has already scored five goals in seven matches. Menendez stated that the 25-year-old from Kerala is very much ready to play for the Indian national team.
“Jobby is playing well not only because he is scoring but he is moving well and creating chances. I think he is ready for national team,” said the 52-year-old coach.
Toni Dovale is set to join East Bengal next month and Menendez shared his thoughts on the former Leganes attacker.
“I think Dovale's level is good. He needs some game time to improve his fitness. The good thing is that he doesn't have to adapt as he already played in India last season.”