Shillong (Meghalaya) [India], Apr. 11 (ANI): Eying another I-League title, second-placed Mohun Bagan will play "one of their toughest encounters of the season" when they take on hosts Shillong Lajong FC at the JLN Stadium Shillong on Wednesday afternoon.
Sniffing another title honour, Bagan will treat the tie as a virtual final but the Kolkata side is well aware of the surprises the young and formidable Lajong side can bring to the table, especially when the encounter is on their home turf.
Both sides are coming to the tie on the back of wins. While Bagan beat arch rivals Kingfisher East Bengal, who were title contenders for the most part of the season, 2-1, Lajong got the better of DSK (3-2) Shivajians in their first game after the break.
In a pre-match press conference, Lajong coach Thangboi Singto minced no words in stating that the Mohun Bagan challenge would be not easy to handle by any means.
"Tomorrow's game will be tough. Our home record is good and we need to keep that up. Having said that Mohun Bagan is on fire at the moment with their current performances and we need to play much better than we did against DSK," Singto said.
In sublime touch, Mohun Bagan have beaten Bengaluru and Kingfisher East Bengal in their last two games and made themselves serious title contenders all of a sudden.
A confident coach, Sanjoy Sen said that his side was always in the hunt for the title even as he added that every game will be a final from here on.
"All the matches that we play from here on will be like virtual finals. Lajong have always shown character against us and tomorrow's match will be one of the toughest this season. We will give it our best," Sen said in the pre-match conference.
Though the Lajong youngsters have done well this season, coach Singto still remains concerned about the goals acceded by his side.
"Maintaining a clean sheet is crucial," he reiterated. Sen, meanwhile, said Bagan cannot entirely focus on stopping ace striker Dipanda Dicka but the entire bunch of Lajong youngsters are a threat to his side. (ANI)