Armando Colaco against playing Ranti Martins and Dudu Omagbemi in all matches
Kolkata: With a packed calendar ahead, East Bengal coach Armando Colaco Thursday said he would not like to put his top forwards Ranti Martins and Dudu Omagbemi under stress as the defending champions kick off the season against Mohammedan Sporting in the local league Sunday.
"We had 21 days pre-season practice. I appreciate the way the team has shaped up and feel quite comfortable ahead of the season. I consider CFL a launching pad for the youngsters. We need to promote the youngsters in order to build a strong team.
"I obviously would not like to put players like Ranti Martins or Dudu Omagbemi under stress by playing them in every match," Colaco, the most successful Indian club coach, said during the Calcutta Sports Journalists Club meet-the-press here.
Colaco was against the idea of playing on the "injury prone" artificial turf at the Vivekananda Yuva Bharati Krirangan at Saltlake.
"Playing on Astroturf is very, very bad. It causes serious injuries to the knee and ankle of the players. I would never like the team to play in SLS and would prefer good grounds like Kalyani, Khardah or Howrah to play."
On their runners-up finish to Bengaluru FC in the I-League last season, he said: "We nearly missed the bus last season but we want play well and win this season."
"The big teams like EB and MB are always exposed to trial by media and that in a way enrages the fans. The media needs to be more patient and make constructive criticism which is good for the future of the team."
With the inaugural franchise league ISL set to be held in October, Colaco however did not complain and said they would have to tread cautiously to tackle injury.
"There will be little break between the tournaments - ISL and I-League - giving less recovery time to the players but I am a professional coach and so are the players and hope to adjust to the situation. I would first like to see the tournament (ISL) and then comment on that.
Colaco said they would decide on playing in the Durand Cup based on their performance in the Calcutta Football League Premier Division.
"Depending on how we play the CFL, we decide whether to play in Durand Cup."