The Telegraph
Sunday , April 13 , 2014
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Hard work paying off: Armando

Calcutta: After Saturday’s 3-1 victory, it was very much understandable to those who watched the game. Coach Armando Colaco only confirmed it. “The confidence is back.”

Not only that, the boys in red and gold drew praise from Pune FC coach Michel Snoei as well. “They are a very effective team… And that’s why I had said at the beginning of the season that they are the favourites for the title,” Snoei said.

The 2013-14 I-league has entered the business end. East Bengal are playing catch-up with leaders Bengaluru FC. Salgaocar FC (on same points as Colaco’s side), too, are in the mix to make things more intense.

East Bengal, blessed with a superb set of players, have often been wayward this season, but it seems they have found their footing. Coach Colaco looked a relieved man.

“The boys gave whatever they had today… The victory is the result of everyone working hard. The hard work is paying off. We have been giving away advantageous positions in our earlier matches, but today we didn’t commit such a mistake,” Colaco said at the post-match media conference.

The road to the title is difficult, impossible according to many, but Colaco is not giving up. “In our remaining three matches, we will have to play like we did today... We can’t play selfish football… But we are improving with every game… I’m optimistic,” he said.

Colaco, who has five national league titles to his credit, explained why he thought that the confidence in his players is back.

“We did well in all the aspects… Be it possession, counter-attacks, the goals, Chidi, Sueoka, (Cavin) Lobo’s form… It’s clicking together. But we did commit a mistake and conceded a goal.”

Two of East Bengal’s three remaining matches are away fixtures, against Churchill Brothers and Pune FC. While many may think that to be a disadvantage, Colaco disagreed. “I don’t think away ties are difficult… Home matches are tougher. There’s so much pressure when you play at home,” he said.

There’s no doubt that like the players, the East Bengal coach too is riding a wave of confidence.