Cuttack, Nov 9 (IANS) Resurgent after defeating Shillong Lajong in their previous game, Indian Arrows will take on former champions Mohun Bagan in an I-League contest at the Barabati Stadium here on Saturday.
The Arrows, to their pleasant surprise, find themselves above Mohun Bagan in the league table going into the game with three points from two matches. Mohun Bagan have two points from an equal number of games.
The Arrows were overwhelmed 1-4 in the I-League opener by table toppers Chennai City FC but did extremely well to bounce back with a win in their next game.
“Getting the win in the first home match gives more confidence. But when we face Mohun Bagan tomorrow, we will need to be faster, quicker, and focused on all terms,” Arrows coach Floyd Pinto said.
“The boys need to take decisions on their own, be it in defending or in the attacking line. These boys will adapt to the combinations as they play more matches and get used to it and then we can see more goals. It’s just a matter of time and patience.”
Mohun Bagan, on the other hand, have opened their campaign with two draws and will be smarting from the fact that they were in winning positions in both those games only to give it away.
They will, however, also be enthused by the comeback of star Haitian winger Sony Norde, who played the last 30 minutes of the previous game and scored a brilliant goal as well.
Mohun Bagan coach Sankarlal Chakraborty however indicated that Sony was not ready to play the full 90 minutes yet.
“I am not totally dependent on Sony, but yes, after nine months, a player can’t be in a position to play 90 minutes. So I will see if he can play a little longer. I am focusing on all the players in my team,” he said.
The 18-man squad which travelled to Cuttack on Thursday had two changes, with medio Shilton Da Silva and left winger Abinash Ruidas replacing the veteran Mehtab Hussain and P.M. Britto.
“We drew the last match so we need to be extra careful this time. Indian Arrows are the youngest but an experienced team. The exposure trips that they got in recent years is remarkable and no one in Indian football has ever got that,” Chakraborty said.
“They have also won the last match. So we will have to work hard and be confident before facing them tomorrow. It will be a tough match indeed and let us hope for the best.”