SC East Bengal’s last-minute entry into the Indian Super League would work to their advantage when they take on ATK Mohun Bagan, said head coach Robbie Fowler on Friday. SC East Bengal kickstart their maiden ISL campaign with the much-anticipated derby against ATK Mohun Bagan on November 27 at the Tilak Maidan in Panaji.
“There’s no pressure on our boys. We are the new boys in the league. Let’s put all the pressure on ATK,” the Liverpool legend said reacting to the ISL fixtures that were unveiled on Friday.
“I don’t think so (there will be any added pressure on us), we will give it a best shot anyway, regardless of who we were playing in the first game.”
“We know how tough it’s going to be any game. But first to get the reigning champs, and a massive derby, it’s a massive game for our players.”
East Bengal’s foray into ISL came with much drama as they roped in their investors Shree Cement with less than three months left for the top-tier league. It meant SC East Bengal had little time to build their team and appointed the English icon at the last minute.
“We knew how difficulty was going to be for us because obviously we are weeks behind in terms of preparation,” the former Brisbane Roar coach said.
“But look all I can do is obviously get the team as ready as we can. Look, we really will be ready. It’s a massive game as I have said.”
SC East Bengal also hit the training ground on Friday under the watchful eyes of Fowler with Anthony Pilkington, Danny Fox and Aaron Joshua Amadi Holloway joining members of the Indian contingent at the SESA football academy ground in Sircaim.
“It was a good day. We were in quarantine for 14 days. First time we saw the lads. They enjoyed the training session. We know it is difficult for us as we are behind. But we will work hard and try and get up to speed as soon as possible,” Fowler signed off.
📣 The Indian Express is now on Telegram. Click here to join our channel (@indianexpress) and stay updated with the latest headlines