SHILLONG, December 14, 2017: Plagued by injuries, former champions Mohun Bagan will look to continue their winning run when they face Shillong Lajong FC in a fourth round encounter at the Salt Lake Stadium.
Having held by Minerva by a last-minute equaliser in the season opener, Mohun Bagan have bounced back in style with a derby win followed by a 5-0 thrashing of Churchill Brothers at Barasat.
But their big win saw four players sustain injuries on the artificial turf of Barasat.
Japanese Yuta Kinowaki (collarbone) has been ruled out for about a month with Arijit Bagui also on the injured list.
Sony Norde and Ansumana Kromah still have hopes of making it into the squad despite training through pain on the eve of the game.
“It is a very important match for us. It is not a major injury (that I have). I believe in myself. With the treatment, I feel much better. I believe I can play tomorrow. I watched Lajong’s game. They have a good team. They run a lot,” Kromah, who scored and assisted a goal in the last game, said.
The opposition in its rank has Kromah’s Liberian countryman Lawrence Doe.
“Lawrence (Doe) is my senior player. When he started playing I was small. He left the country as his style was not liked by national coach. He is an idol,” Kromah commented on his fellow Liberian.
On the other hand, Shillong Lajong stayed back in Kolkata after their 1-5 defeat at the hands of East Bengal, looking to make amends.
“It was just a bad day in the office for Lajong last game. They had collected six points from first two matches.
They are dangerous from set pieces. They are a well-balanced side.”
Praise for the young team came from the opposition camp through Sen who said:”Lajong’s 1-5 defeat is not an advantage for us. We need to be cautious and look for three points.”
Lajong head coach Bobby Nongbet felt the pressure riding on his head.
“It’s a bit of pressure for us against Mohun Bagan considering how they played against Churchill. In the last match, we conceded two early goals in first and second half which made difficult to come back.
“East Bengal played well. But if Sony Norde and Kromah don’t play, it is an advantage for us,” the coach said.
Only one point separates the two teams and it will be the Mariners who will be licking their lips to jump back into pole position by securing three points from the matchup.
Featured image(courtesy): Facebook