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"Pleasure, not pressure"- Stephen Constantine ahead of first Kolkata Derby in ISL

Will the Kolkata Derby be as feisty as the pre-match press conference was? Read on to know what the coaches and players had to say about the 'big' one.

Pleasure, not pressure- Stephen Constantine ahead of first Kolkata Derby in ISL

Stephen Constantine and Juan Ferrando (Source: East Bengal, ISL Media Team)


The Bridge Desk

Updated: 29 Oct 2022 10:46 AM GMT

Last time when East Bengal won a Kolkata Derby was in 2019 in the I-League. Since then, the Mariners have gotten the better of them every single time. When both sides meet in Kolkata on 29th October, one would assume that head coach Stephen Constantine will be under pressure. The Red and Gold coach doesn't think so.

"It's a big game. It's not pressure, it's a pleasure. Pressure's when the baby's sick, or the wife's sick. This is an absolute privilege to be a part of this derby. We get paid to perform and play, it doesn't get better than this for me," Constantine said.

The Englishman feels that his team has improved a lot since that 1-0 loss to the Mariners in the 2022 Durand Cup. That being said, Constantine isn't playing for a draw. "I'm not interested in a point, I want all three. You don't go into the derby game, not trying to win it," he said with a straight face.

Brazilian Cleiton Silva, who has already scored twice in the league so far will be an important player for the Red and Gold. His role might be slightly different than what he was used to back in Bengaluru, but nonetheless, he feels his team can pull off the unthinkable.

"We are not underdogs but if you ask people in this room (press conference room), eight out of ten people will say ATK Mohun Bagan will win the game. But we are going to surprise people on Saturday," said a confident Cleiton.

On the other side of the dichotomy, Juan Ferrando is all about playing the game and not the occasion. "Saturday's game will be like any other game. It's about three points. Of course, the occasion is special because I know the city and the history of the derby. The supporters will be coming and everyone wants to enjoy this match. But for us, it's one more game and a new opportunity to get three points," the Spaniard said.

Sat beside Ferrando was Pritam Kotal who is certainly no stranger to the Derby, both as a Calcutta boy and a player. On hearing that Constantine wants Cleiton to score a hattrick, a fesity Kotal replied, "On Saturday, it will be proved whether he can score a hat-trick or not. I am not the only one who has the responsibility to stop him. With due respect to Silva, all I can say is, we will settle the matter on the pitch. It can't be said like this in a press conference," he said.

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