Mohun Bagan coach Sanjoy Sen demands focus against Chennai City

In its last league encounter against Chennai City FC at the Rabindra Sarobar Stadium here on Sunday, the Mariners will have to record a win and hope that table topper Aiwal FC loses its contest against Shillong Lajong FC.

Bagan coach Sanjoy Sen speaks to the press ahead of the team’s match against Chennai City FC.   -  AIFF Media

Mohun Bagan may be keen to cap one of its finest seasons with the I-League title, but the 127-year-old club is aware that the road to the crown is full of uncertainties.

In its last league encounter against Chennai City FC at the Rabindra Sarobar Stadium here on Sunday, the Mariners will have to record a win and hope that table topper Aiwal FC loses its contest against Shillong Lajong FC.

In such a scenario, Bagan and Aizwal will tie on 36 points apiece and the Kolkata-based club may pip the new entrant into the I-League on a better overall goal difference.

Bagan, which has lost only two matches but remains second due to its six draws, must train its focus on beating the lower-placed Chennai City FC instead of worrying about factors which are out of its control.

The 1-0 defeat to Aizwal FC through an 83rd minute goal hurt Bagan, which adopted a defensive approach in the second half and lost the plot.

Bagan coach Sanjoy Sen, who has been at the helm for the last few years and helped the side take the runner-up spot in the last edition, sounded optimistic though. “Our aim is to win and end the league on a high. Anything is possible in football,” Sen told reporters on the eve of the match.

“Bagan has struggled more against smaller teams. I have told the boys to be extra cautious.”

Bagan will rely on its star foreign forwards, especially Sony Norde and Katsumi Yusa, while looking for a win. Daryl Duffy is likely to play despite an injury issue.

Chennai, which has 17 points from four wins, five draws and eight losses, has experienced a roller-coaster season and changed its coach. It will look forward to give a good account of itself against one of the stronger sides and gain a lot of confidence.

“Mohun Bagan is one of the best clubs in India. It is a great opportunity for us to play against Bagan. We have nothing to lose and will go all out,” said Chennai coach V. Soundararajan.

Due to the absence of Nigerian defender Echezona Anyichie, who got a red card in the last match, Chennai may start with just one foreigner Brazilian Charles D'Souza.

It will be interesting to see what challenge Chennai poses for its stronger host.

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