The Mariners will aiming to put in a better display against the high-flying Snow Leopards.
Fourth-placed Real Kashmir visit Kolkata to face sixth-placed Mohun Bagan in a rather top of the table I-League clash. Until this match, the North Indian outfit have won five fixtures, drawn three and lost two. While the Bengal outfit have won four matches, drawn three and lost three.
Ahead of their upcoming encounter, the gaffers of both the sides met the media to discuss about the clash.
Real Kashmir are currently in good form, and have overcome many odds thrown at them by top division opponents. Bagan head coach Sankarlal Chakraborty said, “I have told everyone to forget about what we did in the first phase. We have to focus on the second leg. Currently concentrating on Real Kashmir. They are a good side, they are in good form at the moment and are very consistent. They have very good foreign players. The Indian players are also supporting them. We have to be very cautious against them. They did well against East Bengal too.”
Mohun Bagan have been on patchy form this season, with many expecting they to not finish in the top four. The Mariners’ gaffer said, “The first leg match was different. Different ground, different conditions. Currently, they are ahead of us so we have to focus on tomorrow’s game.”
He further reiterated, “Our target is to get three points at any cost from tomorrow’s match. We have conceded four goals from set pieces, out of 12 goals. We are working on it. Every top team has conceded 10, 12 goals. We are considering our mistakes and trying to rectify them. The size of the pitch does not matter to us. For us every ground is same. We train for every condition. We have to work hard to turn the luck in our favour. We cannot sit back and think that luck will favour us.”
The Snow Leopards have been better than Mohun Bagan this season. The second division champions and top division debutants have created waves this season. Head coach David Robertson said, “We have had a break. It’s good to be here. We have all enjoyed. In the first leg, we did our bits. But it’s a different ball game playing here in a bigger ground. We have done well against East Bengal.”
When asked about Mohun Bagan, he said, “They will be fighting. They are big club, so have the pressure to be at the top. Our form has been good. We won our last three home matches and got five points away from home. We are in a good run and hopefully it will continue. Sony Norde is a good player but he is not the only player. He didn’t play in the first leg. Defensively we have been good. We create chances in every game. We have to be focused for 90 minutes. Against Kolkata clubs you have to be focused for 90 mins.”
The Mariners will be missing out on the services of defender Sukhdev Singh who is out with an injury. On the other hands, ace forward Sony Norde and youngster Pintu Mahata are back from respective injuries and could be on the bench against Real Kashmir on Sunday afternoon.
Real Kashmir FC
The Snow Leopards do not have any major injury concerns at the moment and are looking forward to the game on Sunday afternoon.
Mohun Bagan– Sankar (GK), Kingsley, Kimkima, Yuta, Dicka, Kisekka, Bagui, Caldeira, Sourav, Azharuddin
Real Kashmir FC– Bilal (GK), Ravanan, Katebe, Loveday, Ganie, Krizo, Danish, Bazie, Surchandra, Tetteh, Thapa
The game kicks off at 2 PM IST on Sunday at Salt Lake Stadium in Kolkata. The game will be streamed live on Hotstar and Jio TV.