On the back of three back-to-back home draws, under-pressure Mohun Bagan coach Sanjoy Sen will hope his team can return to winning ways when they take on laggards Chennai City FC in an I-League game at their club ground here on Tuesday.
Mohun Bagan, in their last outing at their ‘home ground’, paid the price for missing a hatful of chances, being held by 10-man Indian Arrows 1-1.
Despite having numerical advantage for the last 30 minutes, the former champions could not make it count in a display that left passionate club supporters high and dry and asking for coach Sen’s head.
There were chants of “Sanjoy go back” as Mohun Bagan remained on 10 points after six matches, which includes four draws.
Mohun Bagan failed to find the back of the net against newbies Neroca FC, the match ending in a goalless draw while Dipanda Dicka (penalty) gave the green and maroon brigade the lead only to see it get cancelled out by Samuel Lalmuanpuia.
Dicka also scored from the spot against Arrows but they once again failed to add on to the score and could not hold on to the lead either.
“We have to get back among goals. In the last few matches, I have felt the boys have been under pressure after conceding. Our players have missed from handshaking distance which is poor. We have been trying hard at practice and players have shot in front of empty net also to get back confidence,” Sen told reporters on the eve of the tie.
Haitian star Sony Norde is yet to recover from his injury and is not match fit yet, the coach added. Arijit Bagui is also unavailable for Chennai game.
“We cannot be over-reliant on Sony. Sony-less Mohun Bagan have to learn to win. The team understands that,” Sen said on Norde’s absence.
Chennai should be the hosts’ best chance to bounce back given the visitors’ poor standing in the league. They have won just one game so far in six matches and lost as many as four.
In their last outing, East Bengal got the better of them 1-2.
Sen though refused to take the opposition lightly.
“We cannot take any team lightly. Against Mohun Bagan, all teams step up and we expect them to do the same. We should have beaten Indian Arrows but we failed to do that,” a seemingly irate Sen said.
“It is a greatest challenge for us playing against Mohun Bagan. We are happy to play against Mohun Bagan in their own ground. They are 100 years old, we are 2 years old. So it’s a great opportunity. The spectators will be the biggest challenge as they are huge. We will take up the challenge,” Chennai coach Soundrarajan said.
Asked if Norde’s absence will help Chennai, the coach said: “Apart from him, they have good players and good organisation. If you put any other player, they are as tough as Norde.”
Chennai have only Kyrgyzstani stopper back Venyamin Shumeyko nursing a niggle but Soundrarajan said he is likely to start on the morrow.