CHENNAI: Mohammedan Sporting Club Head Coach Biswajit Bhattacharya is not throwing in the towel yet even though his side has failed to win their last four matches in the 2017/18 Hero 2nd Division League.
The Black Panthers take on Chennaiyin FC reserves midweek at the SSN College Ground in Chennai for a game described by Bhattacharya as a decisive match for their future in the league.
He said the team must shape up and start getting results as things might get tougher for them if they drop points in any of their remaining four fixtures.
The former striker told mohammedansportingindia.com, “This is a game we have to win at all costs. We are here only for three points, nothing else.”
Bhattacharya knows Mohammedan SC will have a tough test on their hands, both in trying to overcome Chennaiyin on the field and in bearing the weight of expectation from the Black Panthers faithful.
Mohammedan SC beat Chennaiyin 4-0 in the corresponding fixture at Barasat Stadium last month. But they have since imploded, but are still in with a chance to make the final round and will be hoping their fortunes turn against Chennaiyin in their own backyard.
“We need to rectify our past mistakes and close some loopholes which have been costing us dearly. We will start the match with a belief that we can win the game,” he continued.
“We had our Team talk at training this morning and players are more determined than ever. We have beaten them once before, so this is a chance to do it again. Our boys are ready, we made them aware of what to expect.” he added.
The gaffer also maintains that the misfiring in front of goals was “just bad luck” for the team. “My players are working hard and showing commitment, all we need is that bit of luck to score.”
On the playing front, Bhattacharya is happy to welcome back Fikru Lemessa. The striker returning from suspension and would give the side more firepower up front in the absence of Jiten Murmu as the Black Panthers skipper is nursing stomach infection.
“Fikru could be the key for us in against Chennaiyin. He is working very hard in training and has a point to prove.” said Bhattacharya.
“We need to be ready from the moment that the referee blows the whistle to start the game. Chennaiyin can’t be underestimated. They are a young side with full of energy. This means that we must be focussed from the start and take care of business with a sound game plan and a determination to win.” said Fikru.
The Black Panthers, who are on 9 points from 6 matches, can top the Group C standings, at least for the time being, should they beat what really is a timid looking Chennaiyin outfit, who won just one of their 7 league fixtures.