Shillong, April 23 (IANS) Shillong Lajong FC will take on Kingfisher East Bengal in a must-win I-League tie at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium here on Sunday evening.
Facing a serious relegation threat, Shillong Lajong are languishing at the bottom of the nine-team table with 15 points in their kitty from as many matches. They have no option but to muster a win against their famed Kolkata opponents in what should be a gripping encounter.
A lot will also be at stake for the visitors as well as they would look to gather the full three points from the match and sign off their campaign on a positive note.
Lajong are in the relegation battle along with fellow strugglers Mumbai FC and Aizawl FC. While a win would put all relegation doubts to rest, Lajong would at least have to secure a draw to stay in the hunt for the next season.
“We can’t lose tomorrow. It’s on me and the players to go out there and do the job,” Lajong coach Thangboi Singto told the media here on Saturday.
Singto, however, expressed confidence that his boys were well prepared for the tie. He added in the same breath that East Bengal are not an easy opponent to play under any circumstances.
A bit emotional, Singto also apologised to Lajong fans for an indifferent show this season and urged them to come out in large numbers to support the beleaguered side on Sunday even as he promised a good show to the ‘faithful’.
Newly-appointed East Bengal coach Trevor Morgan also underlined the importance of a win on Sunday.
“Both sides need to win for different reasons,” he said adding that a victory here could even catapult the Kolkata side to the second position if statistics permitted,
“The players have been fantastic, and we are hopeful of a win tomorrow.”
Lajong midfield mainstay Penn Orji, meanwhile, said that there was no undue pressure on the boys going into the tie.
“The camp is relaxed and focused and looking to show something good tomorrow. We are a confident lot,” Orji, who can be singled out for his good show this season, asserted.