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I-League: Mohun Bagan look to extend winning run against Minerva Punjab FC 

Kolkata, Jan 9 (IANS) Hot on the heels of registering their first victory in over a month, Mohun Bagan will hope to continue the momentum when they host Minerva Punjab FC in their penultimate I-League home game at the Vivekananda Yuvabharati Krirangan here on Wednesday.

The Green and Maroons are high on confidence after finally winning and scoring in a game from open play after four matches. 

Head coach Sankar Lal Chakraborty, who is only a game old in his new position as full-time chief coach will be looking to lift his side from mid-table incongruity.

“We are trying hard to do well but unfortunately that’s not happening. No one wants to lose or draw but it happens. The big teams, who are title contenders, will never want this bad patch to continue. We have promised to come back soon. Last match we had won but we have to improve”, Chakraborty said on the eve of the game.

Fifth on the league table, Mohun Bagan will be the first outfit to play their tenth game of the season and will be wary of the fact that breaking into the top three is bare minimum, given they now play six games away from the city after this. 

East Bengal dropped points the other night, and thus Mohun Bagan can ill-afford to take any chances against Minerva Punjab FC, who themselves looked like runaway favourites for the title when the season began.

Haitian star Sony Norde is still nursing his injury but the focus will be on Cameron Watson who played the full ninety minutes on Sunday against Aizawl FC in a 2-0 win but looked well short of full match fitness. 

“In the last game, the second half was more open. After the first 20 minutes of the first
half all the boys started to play better. I have just joined the side, slowly getting along with the other players. 

We got the result last game and we have to continue that result. We have to get three points every week. It’s nothing to get excited about,” Watson said.

On the other hand, Minerva replied well with a slender 1-0 victory over at Gokulam Kerala FC
over the weekend after they lost their first game of the season at the home of the defending champions Aizawl FC prior.

Having played a game less and three points ahead, the outfit from Ludhiana will be hoping for a repeat of the 1-1 draw in the corresponding fixture – coincidentally the season opener, if not for a win at
least.

“We have immense respect for Mohun Bagan. They are an old club and at home, they are a good side.

They have a very good attack and we have to be cautious. Our target is to win the league. We want to be champions. It is a long journey. We have to avoid bad results,” said their head coach Khogen Singh.

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