I-League: Mohun Bagan hosts relegation-threatened Gokulam Kerala

Mohun Bagan has only pride to play for after its defeat against East Bengal.

Khalid Jamil: “It’s not difficult to motivate the players. They are professionals and are ready for the match.” Photo: AIFF Media

After suffering a 2-0 defeat against East Bengal which dealt a crushing blow to its title aspirations, Mohun Bagan would look to return to winning ways when it faces Gokulam Kerala FC in an I-League fixture here on Wednesday.

The host will have only pride to play for, but the contest signifies much more to the visiting team. A good result may help Gokulam Kerala escape the relegation zone. It currently occupies the 10th position, with 11 points from 13 matches.

Bagan, on the other hand, occupies the sixth position.

There may be a few changes for the contest for the side. Head coach Khalid Jamil would look to bring back Shilton D’Silva and Arijit Bagui, while midfielder Yuta Kinowaki is likely to sit out due to a calf-muscle injury.

‘Ready’

Jamil admitted the intensity was missing from his side in the derby clash on Sunday. “East Bengal looked more determined. We should learn from the mistakes and move on. There’s no point thinking about the past. The last match was not up to the mark, but we must go ahead,” Jamil said on the eve of the clash against Gokulam Kerala.

Mohun Bagan was defeated by East Bengal in the Kolkata derby on Sunday. Photo: AIFF Media

 

“But it’s not difficult to motivate the players. They are professionals and are ready for the match,” he added.

The two teams have met before; they played out a 1-1 draw in the first leg in Kerala.

‘Motivation high’

Gokulam Kerala can expect much from its new signing Fabien Vorbe, who was brought in by Gift Raikhan, the new coach, after Fabrizio Ortiz left the club midway through the season. “We are fighting for relegation. So the motivation is high. We need three points very badly,” Raikhan said.

The contest will begin at 5 pm.