East Bengal head coach Stephen Constantine is keen to restore the pride the maidan giants used to enjoy but insisted he was no magician, ahead of their ISL XI match against FC Goa at the Salt Lake Stadium on Wednesday.
Constantine feels East Bengal, playing for the first time at home in this ISL, will get an opportunity to prove themselves on Wednesday.
With FC Goa not playing their top team in the Durand Cup, there will be that element of surprise. “We don’t have big information on FC Goa. They have a new head coach and I’m sure he will try to impress but we know enough about them from last season.
“Whether we are playing home or away we will always try for three points. You can’t disrespect your opponents irrespective of what you feel. You have to play them and beat them on the pitch,” Constantine said.
East Bengal lost their first match against Kerala Blasters 3-1. “We are together as a team for the last four weeks only. Other teams would have surrendered and conceded 4-5 goals. But we didn’t because we are not that type of team.
“With every game we are going to get better. That is certain. We are in a rebuilding process.”
Constantine said it was a privilege to coach a team like East Bengal. “It’s a great privilege to be in this position as head coach of East Bengal. I know how important the team is for the community. My old friend Subhash Bhowmick would tell me you need to come and coach East Bengal one day. It’s a massive responsibility.
“I would do everything I can to restore East Bengal’s pride. But I can’t do this in four-five weeks. It will take time.”
Defender Ivan Gonzalez, who joined East Bengal from FC Goa in the summer, said he will give his all on the pitch for his new team.
“I can feel a difference at this club with its incredible history. We need to play aggressively for this club not just for the history but if you see the last two seasons, it’s been hard for the club and supporters. Now we have a new investor. They have put their confidence in us and they need results,” he said.