Chennai, Mar 11: Stunned in their last game, title contenders Kingfisher East Bengal cannot afford to drop points when they lock horns against new entrants Chennai City FC in a 14th round Hero I-League match at the Jawaharlal Nehru stadium, here tomorrow, March 12.
After 13 rounds, East Bengal are second in the standings, two points behind Aizawl FC. Acknowledging that fact, coach Trevor Morgan said, "We need to win tomorrow to remain in the race to win the I-league. If things went our way and we did what we need to do tomorrow, we could again be top of the league. But we are expecting a difficult game. Any team is capable of beating any other team. We found that out first hand in the previous game."
Morgan rued the 2-1 defeat they suffered at home to Churchill Brothers. The coach of the Kolkata outfit, however, was determined not to repeat those follies again.
"We were very poor defensively in the first half against Churchill. We have to make sure it doesn't happen tomorrow.
"It is difficult to set your team out to win. They (Chennai) will play with one up front and get people behind. We have to be patient and find a way through," Morgan said.
He went on to concede that it was a bit hard to recover from the defeat in the last round but hoped that they will be able to set things right tomorrow.
"The last game was one of the worst days I've had. The thing with football is, we have to move quickly.
"The training was a bit subdued on the day after the loss. It was difficult to get over personally. But we have to look forward. What's done is done," Morgan said.
But the Englishman is boosted by the return of star striker Willis Plaza, who trained today and is expected to start tomorrow along side Bikash Jairu.
Morgan also felt that the pitch at Jawaharlal Nehru stadium was pretty decent and not as bad as it has been portrayed recently.
The home team coach Soundararajan sounded upbeat and said he was eagerly anticipating playing the Red and Gold brigade.
"Compared to us, they (Kingfisher East Bengal) are a well organised and better side. So, we are eagerly waiting for a chance to play them.
"We will draw inspiration from Bengaluru result. It was a morale boost for us and will help us on Sunday," he said.
Tomorrow's game is Chennai City's last home game of the season and Soundararajan revealed that the conducive atmosphere of the Jawaharlal Nehru stadium will be a big miss for them in the coming games.
"We had a moral support while playing in Chennai. With the relatives and friends of the players coming, it was a conducive environment for us to play football," he said.
Chennai do not have any major injury concerns and will have to play out of their skins again to deny the visitors a victory.