Panaji (Goa) [India], January 4 (ANI): SC East Bengal's Md Rafique has set sights on bagging "another positive result" after the club clinched their maiden victory in the Indian Super League (ISL) season 7 on Sunday.
"When you put this shirt on, there's no room for excuses. Yes, it's true that such a packed schedule can be tiresome for players. Having said that, you've to overcome it and recover quickly in order to prepare for the next match. We're hopeful of bagging another positive result against FC Goa," Rafique told the club's official website.
SC East Bengal kick-started the new year on a bright note as they defeated Odisha FC 3-1 to register their first win in this season of ISL.
Rafique is a seasoned campaigner on the Indian football circuit. Having made his senior debut for the United Sports Club in 2010, the midfielder rose to prominence following his impressive performances against the Kolkata giants in his formative years. In 2014, he signed up for the red-and-gold brigade and became an endearing name to the supporters during his four-year stint there.
With SC East Bengal featuring in their maiden ISL campaign, the 29-year old is back in the red-and-gold camp after a two-year hiatus and has become a vital element of head coach Robbie Fowler's plans.
Rafique said they always step out on the field with a mindset of winning the game and never resort to a "defensive mindset."
"The red-and-gold brigade always steps on the field with a winning mentality. We lost and drew some of our matches because we always pushed for a win. We never resort to a defensive mindset even if we're a goal down. We've started the year with a win, so the team spirit is high. We made a good comeback yesterday, which is a positive sign, and I hope that fans will continue to back us the way they've done so far," he said.
Also, the player said he considers every game as his last because it motivates him to deliver his 200 percent effort.
"Whenever I play for this club, I never think that I should reserve some of my energy for the next game. I always go into a match thinking that it's my last match. That motivates me to deliver my 200% effort. I know that if you work hard, you're bound to get rewarded. All of us have been trying our best, but sometimes luck doesn't go your way. Every match is a do-or-die match for us. Hopefully, we'll be able to play more compact football in the upcoming fixtures," Rafique said. (ANI)