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I-League 2018-19: Sankar Lal Chakraborty - Teams are motivated to play Mohun Bagan

14:52 SAST 2018/12/18
Sankarlal Chakraborty Mohun Bagan I-League 2017-18
The coach of the Mariners has acknowledged that his team needs three points to keep their title hopes alive

Mohun Bagan are set to take on Minerva Punjab after suffering a 3-2 setback in the Kolkata derby against East Bengal on Sunday.

As Bagan languish on the eighth spot with just nine points, Sankar Lal Chakraborty, the head coach of the Maroon and Green brigade, has admitted that his side is under pressure.

"When you are the coach of Mohun Bagan, there is always pressure on you. It's not that Mohun Bagan is not playing well. It's just that the three points are not coming.

"We played just the day before yesterday and had to travel soon after. It's affects us mentally also. It's a long league but when you know in advance that you have to play in two days, you cannot make any excuses," he mentioned.

The 43-year-old has acknowleged the kind of form Minerva Punjab are in while stressing on the importance of picking up three points.

"Minerva were the champions last year (2017-18 season) and they are playing well this year too. If you watched the match against Chennai City, they could have won it. Minerva plays a good brand of football but we have come here to pick three points because we don't have other other option (in order to keep title hopes alive). It won't be an easy game for us.

"In India, against Mohun Bagan, all the teams are motivated. Mohun Bagan is not just a club, it's like a football institute. With the kind of form Minerva are in, it will be a tough match tomorrow (Wednesday)," Chakraborty stated.

On the other hand, Minerva Punjab technical director Paul Munster has urged his side to convert their chances after coming into the tie on the back of a goalless draw against Chennai City.

"At the end of the day, it depends on the players. We didn't lose the last game and kept a clean sheet again for the third time (in successive games). It was all about taking our chances. This is our home game, so it's a must-win game but it's up to the guys to perform," said the Englishman.

Minerva recorded only 29% possession in their last outing but yet had created a fair chunk of chances and nearly won the battle at the death if not for Yu Kuboki's poor penalty miss.

"We were the better team in the first half. They were the better team in the second half. Possession is what you do with the ball. You can keep the ball all you want but it's all about scoring goals and creating chances, which I believe we did create a lot of chances," Munster explained.

"We are being positive. We want to keep a good defensive record and keep creating chances. As a group, we work together all the time and our focus is on the game tomorrow," he signed off.