After Manolo Diaz was relieved of his duties, Mario Rivera has been appointed as the head coach of SC East Bengal. Prior to his first game in charge at the Indian Super League, he appears levelheaded and confident. His first hurdle at the club will be to aid the Red & Gold Brigade record its first win of the campaign, when they face FC Goa at the GMC Athletic Stadium, Bambolim.
In an interview with the press, Rivera displayed confidence and caution in his approach. “My first goal is to change the mood of the team. When you join a team in the middle of the season, it means the team has not been doing well,” he said.
“I will try to recuperate the mental situation of the players. The team is in a much better situation than before; now, my challenge is to get the best out of the players,” Rivera continued.
Rivera arrived at the Kolkata side as assistant coach to Alejandro Menendez in the 2018-2019 season. Eventually, he was handed the reins and took over. The Spaniard has been very forward on the kind of football he wants to see from his team.
He went to on to profess his love for total football and for the attacking style. He will look to better his side on the attacking attacking front. Rivera praised the players for giving their hundred percent in the previous number of matches. However, he feels that to play good football, there must be a proper balance of defense and offense. Also, to overcome an opponent, being better than them in all areas is necessary.
Rivera was asked about the challenge of a mid-season takeover, which he admitted was an arduous task. “I didn’t have much time to get to know the players. It becomes difficult to implement the changes in such a short period, but we will put our best foot forward,” said a positive Rivera.
The Spaniard also let in on the fact that he regularly shared a dialogue with interim coach Renedy Singh during his quarantine. He revealed saying that they discussed at length matters regarding the team.
As per the boss, prospects of new Brazilian forward Marcelo Ribeiro dos Santos making an appearance in the upcoming game was unlikely. Rivera stated that Ribeiro was not yet available for selection or ready to start.
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