Kolkata: Mohun Bagan would look to continue their winning run and jump to top half of the points table when they face bottom-placed Shillong Lajong FC in an I-League fixture here Sunday.
The Mariners showed amazing resilience to overcome the derby defeat to arch rivals East Bengal, downing defending champions Minerva Punjab in their previous match.
The win took them to sixth on the table with 12 points from eight games, while the Shillong outfit are yet to win from five matches.
In their last fixture, Lajong suffered a 1-6 humiliation against debutants Real Kashmir in Srinagar as they slipped to bottom of the table with four points from eight matches.
The Alison Kharsyntiew-coached Lajong have the league’s most profligate defence, having leaked 22 goals. The inexperience of his young home-grown side is probably showing the most.
Aibanbha Kupar has been the bulwark of the Lajong back four but the likes of Kharshong, Novin Gurung and Khongsit clearly need to step it up more. “Our defence was not up to the mark and we need to really work hard on our defense. We will go back and look rectify the loopholes as we can’t afford to continue to be same anymore,” the coach has said after the debacle in Srinagar.
Their captain and playmaker Samuel Lalmuanpuia has a very talented attack line to play with and he would look up to the talented Phrangki Buam, who has scored thrice so far. Moun Bagan, on the other hand, will be on a high after their win over Minerva but they will still miss the services of their star Haitian playmaker Sony Norde. Mohun Bagan ran havoc in midfield and pinned Minerva against the wall in their last match.
Instead of going with two strikers upfront, Henry Kisekka was deployed on the left flank whereas Omar Nabil Elhusseiny was restored to his familiar position of an attacking midfielder.
Summing up the mood, Mohun Bagan coach Sankarlal Chakraborty said: “Winning the next match after the derby has morally boosted us. Now, we are trying to maintain the winning momentum. We want three points to be in a good position on the league table. We have not won a single match at our home ground.
“This is one of our disadvantages. Luck was not in our favour when we played the other games. We hope to turn that around tomorrow,” the Bagan coach said.