I-League 2017-18: East Bengal gear up for 'toughest match' against 'confident' Minerva Punjab

Khalid Jamil referred to their upcoming game against Minerva as tough while Khogen Singh claimed that his side are under no pressure...

East Bengal head coach Khali Jamil believes that their upcoming I-League match against Minerva Punjab will be a difficult fixture. The Kolkata-based club is six points behind first placed Minerva Punjab on the league table and anything less than a victory will severely hurt their chances of winning the title this season.

"This is the toughest match. It won't be easy as they are top and are doing a good job. Everyone should give 100 percent," said Jamil, who refused to single out the in-form Bhutanese winger Chencho Gyeltshen as their lone threat.

"They have good players and a good coach. Players are hungry for success. They attack all out. Everyone on their team (plays like that). Defenders are good. Good attack. No one specific (to be termed as a threat).  We have to try hard tomorrow."

Khalid Jamil ruled Al-Amna out of the game against Minerva Punjab and spoke about the pressure on him as a coach of one of the biggest clubs in India.

"There is pressure for every match. Since the beginning, there is pressure. Tomorrow's match will be the turning point for both sides," claimed Jamil.

Minerva Punjab head coach Khogen Singh denied that his team is under pressure going into a crucial match against East Bengal.

"We are confident. We are in good form. We don't (feel) any pressure. (I am not) not worried about the turf. We are ready to play anywhere," said a confident Khogen Singh.

 "East Bengal is under pressure at the moment and so (it is the) perfect time to play against them. They are a big team, we know (that)." 

Former Mohun Bagan forward Ansumana Kromah, who signed for East Bengal earlier this month, is set to face a team that he has already played against twice.

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"Kromah is a good player. He has already played two matches against Minerva. This will be an advantage. Not only Kromah, everyone must give 100 percent," said Khalid Jamil. Khogen Singh, meanwhile, shrugged off suggestions of an advantage because of a player who has switched clubs mid-season.

"I don't think that's an issue. When a player leaves a club and joins another, there are a lot of psychological effects. I don't think East Bengal has an advantage due to that."