Margao: Bottom-placed SC East Bengal will hope for a reversal of fortunes when they face Chennaiyin FC in an Indian Super League (ISL) match on Saturday.
SCEB are winless after six matches and have only two points while Chennaiyin are seeking an entry in the top half of the standings with a few consecutive victories.
They beat FC Goa 2-1 in their last game while SCEB were held by Kerala Blasters 1-1.
After a late entry into the Isl, SC East Bengal have struggled under coach Robbie Fowler. They have reportedly released nine players and are looking to add domestic players to their squad.
Their foreigners have also failed to impress though Jacques Maghoma and Anthony Pilkington have impressed in bits.
Fowler claimed the team’s morale is upbeat despite conceding a late goal to draw vs Kerala.
“The moral of the team is really good. At times we are unlucky and it is unfortunate that you concede a goal in the last minute but our lads worked really well. We had lots of chances and we could have won the game quite convincingly but football is like that,” he said.
“There are ups and downs and we have had plenty of downs at the moment but the morale of the lads is brilliant and hopefully, we will have a lot of ups starting the next game.”
The ENglish coach also said they are looking to strengthen the squad with additions in the January transfer window. He added that the players sent out on loan have an opportunity to show their worth to Fowler.
“We are bringing in new names in the squad. We are always looking for players who are available and we feel can benefit the team. We are trying to bring in one or two players, obviously, I cannot say who. As for the lads who have gone out, we got opportunities to look over a five to six weeks period and we just felt that we are not going to play them as much,” Folwer said.
“So it is not me being nasty and vindictive. It is what is best for the club. We are trying to get the best results for this club and we feel that some of the players who aren’t playing they can elsewhere and get games. It is not nice and someone has to make the decisions and the decision is mine to make. My job is to try and get the very best of results I can, bring the best people in the club.”
Chennaiyin FC coach Csaba Lászlo played down their superior league table position and believes it will be tough contest against SCEB, who would be looking for their first win.
“There is always pressure. If you get two victories in a row you get very close to the top four. And two defeats will see you go down very quickly. Even yesterday (FC Goa versus Jamshedpur), it was a very up and down game.
“Everyone is looking to win games and (it’s) not very tactical. It will be a tough game for us. They are a new team but they have adapted well. We have to concentrate very well and remain focussed,” Lászlo said.