Calcutta: East Bengal coach Armando Colaco believes his team’s in a good frame of mind ahead of the IFA Shield semi-final tie against Bangladesh’s Dhanmondi Club.
“Every game is a big game… It’s a semi-final of the IFA Shield and we are ready for it. The team is in good spirits. Even if the match goes into the extra time, we are ready for it,” Colaco said.
Colaco, the shrewd tactician, has also spotted a chink in Dhanmondi’s game. “Dhanmondi Club played well against Mohun Bagan… But they couldn’t keep up the tempo in the second half… I don’t know if they displayed their full potential or if they kept something up their sleeves for the semi-final.
“They play with three foreigners upfront… All of them are good. Their defence isn’t bad either. But we will see what happens on the ground,” Colaco said.
Dhanmondi’s Haiti International Sony Nordy has been in the limelight for his brilliant free-kick against Mohun Bagan. But Colaco is not ready to give him any special attention. “There’s no special plan for anybody… Not even for Sony Nordy… My only instruction for my players would be to enjoy the game. There’s no need to tinker too much with our team… We have been winning, so I wouldn’t want to change anything,” he said.
“We had played well in the Federation Cup too… But we were not converting the chances that we were creating… But I’m not thinking of the past. We’ve still got to learn about executing the opportunities properly,” Colaco said.
Colaco’s counterpart, Joseph Afusi, gives East Bengal their due respect, but he is confident about his team. “East Bengal are a big team… But we are not here on holidays… We know our job.”
Nigerian Afusi was unhappy with the IFA, the organisers, for not allotting them an afternoon slot for practice at the Salt Lake Stadium.
“It’s not right… Maybe, mind-games are being played with us. We play in the afternoon on Tuesday while United SC play in the evening, but we were denied an afternoon slot… That defies logic. Maybe it’s just a plan to disorganise us,” Afusi alleged.