Home Sports Tough task head for East Bengal, Sporting Clube de Goa

Tough task head for East Bengal, Sporting Clube de Goa


Margao : East Bengal captain Alvito D’Cunha admits his team will need to find the killer touch if they are to avoid further embarrassments in the I-League.

After a promising start, East Bengal have lost four matches on the trot to find themselves a massive 12 points adrift of leaders JCT in the first leg.

The Federation Cup champions are in seventh position with seven points and just above the relegation zone.

“We need to pull our socks up,” said D’Cunha on the eve of the East Bengal’s ninth round battle against local team Sporting Clube de Goa, at the Nehru Stadium, here Saturday.

After losing their last four matches to Churchill Bros, Air India, Mahindra United and Mohun Bagan respectively, East Bengal are virtually on the razor’s edge. However, D’Cunha believes his side has the wherewithal to come out of the rut.

“We have enough quality to start winning again,” he said.

He, himself, returns to the side after sitting out of the Kolkata derby with a double booking but M. Suresh, Chandan Das, Soumik Dey and Jayanta Sen will continue to be on the sidelines due to injury.

Coach Subrata Bhattacharya, in the meanwhile, is yet to take a call on new signing Julius Owino, the central defender from Kenya, but admits that all is not well within the side.

Even for Sporting Clube, things are no better.

Coach Clifford Chukwuma admits that hope has now replaced expectation as far as the I-League is concerned.

“We are fighting to save the drop. We just need to start grabbing whatever we can lay our hands on,” the Nigerian coach told IANS.

Chukwuma said East Bengal’s poor form in the last four games and Sporting’s first win against Air India in the last game, gives them an edge over their rivals.

“There is plenty to play for in the I-League, but when playing at home we must not let our rivals off the hook.”

Ghanaian new signing Lawrence Adjei has recovered from a shoulder injury while Nigerian midfielder Mohammad Gaffari, who sat out of the last match, also returns to the side.

“I am sure we can avoid relegation, but we need a few more victories under our belt. We have to look at the remaining ten matches and just try and do the best we can.”

“The first win is always important. Now that we have started winning, I believe things will fall in place.”