Mohammedan Sporting Club may be on their best run of form in recent months, but technical director Dipendu Biswas cautioned his players about getting complacent when they face East Bengal FC in their last Calcutta Premier Division ‘A’ fixture on Thursday at the Vivekananda Yuba Bharati Krigangan, kick-off 3 pm.
Mohammedan (19 points) are currently top of the Calcutta Premier Division ‘A’ standings with a two-point advantage over the trailing Peerless, can win their first title since 1981 with victory against East Bengal, but only if Peerless slip in any of their remaining two matches against Rainbow AC and George Telegraph.
“We are ready for the final push,” comments Biswas about Thursday afternoon’s match against East Bengal. “This is our last match of the campaign, so there is no room for error. We are confident that we will continue where we left off on Monday.”
Mohammedan completed their preparation with a light pre-match training at Mohammedan Sporting Ground on a rainy Wednesday morning, and there is a sense of optimism in the camp which was visible while watching the Black Panthers going through their final polishing touches.
“It is good to see the players before such a big match so calm but highly focused. We have prepared with the limited time we have since our last game on Monday. I always tell the players to focus on the match but not on the league table. I am not doing any calculation; this is the last game so we have to get three points. We must focus on ourselves and the rest will take care of itself.” Biswas adds.
As for opponents, Biswas comments, “East Bengal is a formidable side. They play a very good brand of football and they are quick. It is going to be a nice match because they are also highly technical. I have nothing but respect for them. It is going to be a tight match but we will make sure that we implement our game plan and see how they respond. We are aware of the hype around the game and this is a big event for the fans. I have told players to go out there and express themselves without the fear of failure.”
After suffering a crushing 0-3 defeat against Bhawanipore, the Black Panthers came back strongly and registered three consecutive victories, all in must-win games, against BSS Sporting, Mohun Bagan and Peerless.
Going into the game, what will be key for Mohammedan is continuing that momentum and continuing to apply what they have learned thus far.
Part of their strength came from surprising their opponents with their speed, power and hunger. Biswas has prepared his troops well, identifying the key strengths of his personnel and setting up a system to maximize the team’s effectiveness. He never got carried away with any one victory, pointing out areas for improvements whilst highlighting the strengths of his team.
The former India striker knows what to expect from this exciting young side that will need to lift their game one more time to secure their first Calcutta Premier Division ‘A’ title after 38 years, with assistance from a stroke of luck.
(Mohammedan Sporting Club)