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Football ISL: Tentative Bengaluru face buoyant East Bengal in first outing after Cuadrat's departure
Fatorda, January 8, 2021
Bengaluru's interim coach Naushad Moosa on Friday exuded confidence that his team will bounce back when they take on East Bengal at Fatorda Stadium here on Saturday.
Things have hardly gone right for Bengaluru in the Hero Indian Super League (ISL) this season. They suffered three consecutive defeats for the first time ever and the result saw the departure of their head coach Carles Cuadrat.
“We have an important game tomorrow. The players know it. In these seven years, this has happened for the first time. We have lost three games in a row. It is not easy for them to digest. They want to bounce back. We have to leave behind everything and focus on the next game,” Moosa said.
Bengaluru are up against EB, who are unbeaten in the last four games and Moosa promised an entertaining contest. "East Bengal are a decent side. They are getting better. Bright (Enobakhare) is a talented player. We will be playing more entertaining football. We can assure you that. We have to remain compact when we lose the ball. We have had fewer clean sheets. The focus is not to concede early goals,” he said.
This season, Bengaluru had the worst goals conceded average under Cuadrat which proved to be their downfall in the last few matches. With the attack not being able to bail them out, they have struggled, winning just three of their last nine games. In these games, they scored as many as they conceded (12).
“That is one part we are working on (not scoring many goals). We have gone through all the videos. We felt that we were falling short in numbers in the attacking third. We will look to have more numbers in the attacking third and look to create more scoring opportunities,” he added.
EB meanwhile are buoyant after an excellent performance against Goa, where they were arguably the better side despite being a man-down. The match continued the narrative of EB's resurgence after looking down and out initially. And the run has been in no small part down to new recruit Bright Enobakhare, who has scored in consecutive games for the Kolkata side.
The Nigerian is confident that he can continue his good run on Saturday.. "It's a great time for me," he said. "The players and the staff are amazing. We just have to focus on the next game and try to get as many points as we can by the end of the season. I think everything will come into place. It's going on and we'll see how it goes till the end of the season."
Interestingly, East Bengal boss Robbie Fowler is suspended for the game after receiving his second caution of the season in the previous game. His captain Danny Fox, too, is out with a red card. East Bengal old boy Harmanjot Khabra misses out as well.