Sabyasachi Bagchi, Siliguri: The countdown has started for the Kolkata derby. Ahead of that city giant Mohun Bagan has practiced on full flow at the Kanchenjunga Stadium in Siliguri today. According to coach Shankarlal Chakraborty there is a lot of water under the grass and that might be an issue in the match.
This is a must win game for the green & Maroon Brigade. They are on the same points with their arch-rival East Bengal, but they are six goals behind on aggregate and if somehow the Red & Gold Brigade manages to draw the match they will win the Calcutta Football League for a record eighth consecutive times. In the last Kolkata derby Mohun Bagan beat East Bengal thanks to two brilliant goals from Sony Norde and Azharuddin Mollick. This is the second time that the league would be decided via a Kolkata derby. According to Shankarlal. ”We know that it will be a must win game for us and the boys are feeling the pressure too but the boys have to deal with it. The situation is very different from last time. On that time we had that option that if we lose the match we could rectify that in next matches but in this case we won’t get a second chance.”
Mohun Bagan needs to win the match to win the trophy after seven long years. The Mohun Bagan gaffer wants to play defensively in the first half and in the second half they will play attacking football. The Green and Maroon team management is trying hard to include Azhar and D’Silva in the playing XI who were not a part of the squad in the last match due to an injury. The main positive thing of the Green & Maroon Brigade has returned from behind after conceding a goal. But Shankarlal don’t want to be dependent on Kamo and Kromah, as football is a team game.
Mohun Bagan Captain Kingshuk Debnath said,” We have to strengthen our defence to stop a forward like Willis Plaza. They have a very good forward line. I just want to say the youngsters that don’t take any added pressure on yourself and give your 100% in the field. I am hopeful that we will play well and win the league too.”
For the first time in the season the Green and Maroon Brigade has done a closed door practice after first 15 minutes ahead of the derby.