KOLKATA: Mohammedan Sporting Club coach Biswajit Bhattacharya believes his team has the character to hold their own against Mohun Bagan in a must-win tie on Monday.
The Calcutta Football League fixture at Kalyani promises to be a intense battle involving high stakes. Mohammedan SC, now in the 3rd spot in the table with 10 points from 5 matches, head into the match knowing that anything less than a victory would send them out of the title picture, while Mohun Bagan also has everything to play for as a loss could potentially end their title aspirations.
Mohammedan SC’s title chase have faltered after they dropped points in a 1-1 draw against Calcutta Customs in their last match and they cannot afford to drop points further if they are to challenge table topper East Bengal.
Nonetheless, the Black Panthers will draw a bit of solace from the fact that are unbeaten against Mohun Bagan in their previous seven encounters.
“The game against Mohun Bagan is a determining factor to our future in the league and we are aware of what is expected of us. Mohun Bagan is a very good team and you have to be in your best form when you play against them. As things stand, the destiny remains in our hands and we have to make the most of the opportunities because you can only win matches by scoring goals,” said a confident coach Bhattacharya.
Coach Bhattacharya is aware that his team failed to put up an organised game against Customs with his strikers missing chances. He is now hoping that his team strike the right chord and win against Mohun Bagan, who are under pressure having played a 1-1 draw against Rainbow AC midweek.
“It is definitely going to be an open game as both teams are strong in attack. I foresee a highly competitive game and we will do what is important to take the three points at stake. We hope to implement our natural attacking game and seek to eliminate mistakes at the back,” coach Bhattacharya added.
The Black Panthers will have to be wary of the dangerous duo of Bayi Kamo Stephane and Ghanefo Ansumana Kromah.
However, coach Bhattacharya has revealed that there is no special plan in place to thwart the duo, who scored 11 out of Mohun Bagan’s 16 goals goals in the league. Rather, the gaffer wants to concentrate on strengthening his armoury. “We want to win and my sole focus is on that. Let’s concentrate on ourselves. If we do well, other things will automatically be taken care of.” he concluded.
Better news for the Black Panthers is they head into the match with no injury worries and likely to go with an unchanged side from the previous match.
Cameroonian ace Aser Pierrick Dipanda Dicka says, even though they are in a tricky situation, it is still possible to finish the league as champions.
“Everything is possible in football. What we have to do is just keep winning. It’s not easy but certainly achievable. We are very determined and the confidence has always been there,” said the striker.
The match at Kalyani Stadium kicks-off at 2:45 PM on Monday and will be televised on Kolkata TV.