Gazi talks up importance of Sporting’s next two games

Action from the Mile End Stadium derby between Sporting Bengal and Tower Hamlets (pic Tim Edwards)

Action from the Mile End Stadium derby between Sporting Bengal and Tower Hamlets (pic Tim Edwards) - Credit: Archant

The east Londoners will look to reach the semi-finals of the Errington Challenge Cup over the next week

Action from the Mile End Stadium derby between Sporting Bengal and Tower Hamlets (pic Tim Edwards)

Action from the Mile End Stadium derby between Sporting Bengal and Tower Hamlets (pic Tim Edwards) - Credit: Archant

Sporting Bengal United boss Imrul Gazi believes the club’s next two matches will dictate the remainder of the season.

The Mile End Stadium club visit lowly Leyton Athletic on Saturday looking to remain in the race for a top-six finish in the Essex Senior League.

After taking on the division strugglers, Bengal entertain West Essex on Wednesday, February 20 for a place in the semi-finals of the Errington Challenge Cup.

Both games feel especially important after Saturday’s 4-2 loss to rivals Tower Hamlets in the Mile End derby.


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Gazi said: “We have Leyton Athletic this weekend and they are down the bottom and struggling, but this is the type of game we struggle in.

“It is a mentality thing and it is my job to put it right, although after last Saturday I don’t think that will be a big problem for us.

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“Everyone will be up for this and raring to go and looking to put things right after the defeat to Hamlets.

“Leyton are under new management I believe, so I guess they will have some new players who are looking to impress and it won’t be easy.

“I expect a tough game, but I also expect to see a reaction and we have West Essex in the cup on Wednesday, so these are two massive games and they will dictate how the rest of our season panes out.”

Bengal will hope to win the next two matches and if they do it will set them up for an exciting finale to the term.

Gazi’s team were hoping to complete a rare double over AJ Ashanike’s Hamlets last weekend, but they come up short in the derby.

Wale Odedoyin’s brace and Luke With’s goal put the away side 3-0 up at half time and it was a long road back for the hosts from there.

Charles Gregory and home captain Kamarl Duncan did grab consolations, but Flavio Jumo’s goal had already made the points safe for Hamlets.

It was a frustrating result for Bengal, but Gazi looked to the bigger picture.

He said: “This is my third season and we’ve finished above Tower Hamlets every season and I believe if we do it again this year it will be the fourth time in a row, but that is not the focus for us.

“The focus is on what we do and making sure we improve as a club all the time and we are doing that.

“Our next big focus is 50 points and once we reach that we would have improved again, so we have 11 games to hit that mark and then we will reassess again and see what else we can achieve.”

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