The Mariners have had a difficult season and now face a tricky trip to the Northeast.
Coming back from three consecutive away games, Shillong Lajong will now play host to the Kolkata giants Mohun Bagan in what is promised to be an epic clash at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in Shillong on Saturday (February 3, 2018).
Shillong Lajong lost two of their three away games against Churchill Brothers and Gokulam Kerala FC but picked up three vital points from their stunning win against Neroca FC.
On the other hand, Mohun Bagan will be going into the match after playing a 1-1 draw against Aizawl FC one week back. In the reverse fixture, Shillong Lajong drew 1-1 against the Mariners in Kolkata which will make Saturday’s match more interesting as both teams will be trying their hardest to prove themselves on the field.
Mohun Bagan head coach Sankarlal Chakraborty said, “It will be a tough match. Shillong Lajong are an excellent side and playing against them in their own backyard will always be difficult.”
“Another factor which is concerning us is also the weather. We don’t experience this type of climate in Kolkata and it’s difficult for us as a team”, Sankarlal showed his concern.
“For us, tomorrow’s game will be against two teams, Shillong Lajong and the weather. But we do not consider ourselves at a disadvantage as the entire team is in excellent form”, said Chakraborty with a laugh.
“We are confident as a team and we will be playing to win. We are not too worried about our position in the standings as we are aiming for maximum points and we are hoping for good results by the end of the season,” he added.
On being asked whether his team will be looking for an early lead advantage on Saturday, Chakraborty replied, “It does not matter whether it is a first-half goal or the last minute goal, we are aiming for maximum points.”
Meanwhile, Shillong Lajong coach Alison Kharsyntiew said, “Going into tomorrow’s game, we feel confident and we are determined to prove ourselves and gain points. We had just come back from three away games.”
“We played well against Churchill but because of our inability to score, we lost the match even though we dominated whereas, against Gokulam, it was a poor performance from our side. We do not underestimate Mohun Bagan but we will try our hardest to win”, Alison said in one go.
“We also made a few bad decisions in the last few games regarding substitutions but sometimes substitutions can turn out good otherwise it can turn out to be bad,” he added.
“We have been training very hard especially when it comes to our finishing and goal scoring. We still have a few games left and we are determined to win all the remaining games too,’’ said Kharsyntiew on being asked about the team’s preparation ahead of facing the Green and Maroons.
On being asked whether he considers the weather as an advantage for his team, Kharsyntiew said, “Mohun Bagan are still a very good team but in a way, I think that we have a slight advantage when it comes to the weather.”
The match is scheduled at 05:30 PM and it’ll be telecast live on Star Sports 2/2 HD and streamed live on Hotstar and Jio TV.