EB coach unhappy with fixture, may field reserve team in Durand
Kolkata: East Bengal's Spanish head coach Alejandro Menendez on Wednesday slammed the fixture list which sees the club in action twice in three days, against George Telegraph on July 31 in the Calcutta Football League (CFL) and Army Red on August 3 in the Durand Cup.
East Bengal are likely to field a reserve team for the Durand Cup which is taking place in Kolkata for the first time. There are reports that investors Quess are at loggerheads with club officials over the same as the latter wants the first team to participate in the Durand Cup.
"It is not acceptable to play two matches in three days. It is an absolute disaster and no professional team must work like that," said Menendez after landing in the city and taking charge of East Bengal's practice session at the Vivekananda Yuba Bharati Krirangan.
Menendez said the club's target is to win the I-League and the Super Cup, hinting at his approval of fielding juniors for the Durand Cup.
"The team we have will play all the tournaments. Our targets are the main leagues, I-League and Super Cup. We have to take care of all our players we have to take care of the development of our academy players as well.
"They are not only here for practice but to play. Our goals are to make the players better and improve our strategies and tactics. We have to keep them fit so that they can give their best. They have great motivation," he said.
Menendez also revealed that the club is close to roping in a striker after Jobby Justin was given the green signal by the All India Football Federation (AIFF) player status committee to join Indian Super League (ISL) outfit ATK.
East Bengal's first team has been training at the Vivekananda Yuba Bharati Krirangan practice ground under assistant coaches Bastab Roy and Josep Ferre, as well as physical trainer Carlos Nodar.
East Bengal finished second in the I-League this season, just behind winners Chennai City FC.