I-League: East Bengal cautious against Churchill

Churchill Brothers, which is yet to gain a point is also without a goal this season, will look bring about a change in its wooden spooner status.

East Bengal’s Willis Plaza has been at his profligate best but the Trinidad forward said he needs an element of ‘luck’ against Churchill Brothers.   -  Biswaranjan Rout

On a high, East Bengal will aim to continue its winning momentum when it takes on bottom rung Churchill Brothers at the Barasat Stadium in the outskirts of the city here on Saturday.

Having suffered a derby defeat, the Khalid Jamil coached side returned to winning ways in style thrashing Shillong Lajong 5-1 at the same venue as it would look for another win which would take it to top three.

Its rivals Mohun Bagan dropped points against the same opponent on Thursday and East Bengal would be cautious.

East Bengal’s Willis Plaza has been at his profligate best but the Trinidad forward said he needs an element of ‘luck’.

READ: Neroca caps home debut with thrilling win

“Everyone needs the luck to win. If we get three points, I will be happy. I got confidence after last game as we won. It does not matter if I score or a defender. As long as we win I am happy. I will be sad if the team loses and I don’t score,” Plaza said.

Coach Jamil also backed him: “I tell him to try hard. Goals will come. He is trying. But most important thing is to win. You have to be patient.”

The Goans play their second game in Kolkata within a week as they will return after suffering a 0-1 loss at Aizawl.

After the sacking of Ukrainian coach Mykola Shevchenko after only two games into the season, Alfred Fernandes will hope that the tie against East Bengal goes as per plan. “It is very difficult when a team concede five goals. We had a bad day in office against Mohun Bagan. The last match we played, one mistake cost us the match. East Bengal are a good team like Mohun Bagan. It is an incentive for the players to perform against big team,” the Goan said.

“Last year also, we started badly. It takes time to settle the players as they are getting used to formations and tactics. We are trying hard. We have played only three matches,” he added.

“Injury concerns are there we are travelling a lot but that is part and parcel of games. The travelling is taking a toll on the player’s fitness,” he said.

Churchill Brothers, which is yet to gain a point is also without a goal this season, will bank on its Nigerian striker Eric Nwaimo.

Domestic talents like Israil Gurung, Uttam Rai and Suraj Singh are yet to step up the ante as Red Machines looks bring about a change in its wooden spooner status.

  Dugout videos