KOLKATA: Mohammedan Sporting Club attempt to salvage some pride from a disappointing Calcutta Premier Division ‘A’ campaign when they take on newly crowned champions Mohun Bagan on Tuesday at Saltlake Stadium, kick-off 4:30 pm.
Although Mohun Bagan may have already annexed the title with a game left to play, their clash with nemesis Mohammedan SC will not be devoid of the usual fireworks.
For a side that has won the league, there will be no need for Sankarlal Chakraborty’s men to go beyond the call of duty to win the battle on Tuesday. However there is pride to preserve for Mariners.
Their opponents are also bracing themselves for a tough time. Black Panthers technical director Raghunath Nandi and striker Philip Adjah Tetteh believe Mohun Bagan will remain dangerous even though they have nothing to gain.
“A derby is always a derby. Nobody wants to lose. They want to show that they are the champions. We want to give our fans something to cheer for and we are also playing for the club’s pride.” Nandi said.
“Even, though, they have won the league I am sure they aren’t going take their foot off the gas. When you play Mohun Bagan, there’s always a lot of pride involved and bragging rights, I think they will come all out,” he added.
Mohammedan SC’s last league match saw them go down 2-1 against Tollygunge Agragami, but it was a game Nandi thought they should have won, “It was frustrating because everyone tried their hardest. We didn’t take our chances in that game, but we can’t let that happen against Mohun Bagan.”
Ghanaian forward Adjah, who is excepted to torment Mohun Bagan’s rearguard tomorrow, says Black Panthers will give of their best to preserve their dented dignity and take the bragging rights in what promises to be a thrilling encounter.
“It still remains a big game even though it may have very little aptness. We are playing for our pride and integrity. We play for our supporters. We have to give it our best shot as we always do,” said Adjah.
Though Adjah is happy to score against Tollygunge but feels he could have done a whole lot more for the team.
“It’s always a good feeling as a striker to get your name on the score-sheet, but I wish I could have scored more for the team and helped more. Football can be a cruel game, sometimes you play your heart out but you can’t get the result. We must raise our level after our poor performance. We must be competitive without the fear of failure,” he added.
On the team news front, Mohammedan SC have no noteworthy injury problems and Nandi has a full squad at his disposal with skipper Lancine Toure returning from a one-match suspension that caused him to miss the clash against Tollygunge.