East Bengal

I-League 2017-18: How does Mohun Bagan skipper Sony Norde want to celebrate against East Bengal?

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Kolkata: Sanjoy Sen, the Mohun Bagan gaffer, who has a brilliant success against East Bengal over the years, is looking a bit circumspect ahead of the first Hero I-League Kolkata derby of the season today.

A day before the season's first Kolkata Derby, the coaches of both Mohun Bagan and East Bengal attended a joint press conference held at the Mohun Bagan tent. After drawing their opener against Minerva FC, Sanjoy Sen is looking forward to the three points against arch-rivals East Bengal but he would also go home happy with a point in the kitty.

"We will go for a win. If we fail to win, a draw won't be bad. Bu any point is important in the league as we have failed to regain the title in the last two seasons," said Sen.

The gaffer refused to believe that the Red and Golds are favourites and refused to be tagged as underdogs.

"You have to respect the opponents but we are not underdogs," quipped Sanjoy Sen.

Emphasizing the need to get to winning ways, he said, "The first match, you can be excused but if you continue this in the upcoming games, you will suffer."

Sen has an illustrious record against his counterpart, Khalid Jamil, as he has never lost a home encounter to the former Aizawl FC coach. But he brushed away the stat and instead focused on the importance of the game for both sides.

"I don't live in the past. I believe this will be a crucial game for both sides. This league is about points and I am guessing they too won't like to drop any," said the Green and Maroon coach.

Sanjoy Sen was accompanied by his star player Sony Norde, who agreed that playing against East Bengal is different but not something that will put him under pressure.

"I never play with pressure. Playing against EB is different. We don't play with EB the same we okay against Lajong for example. We have to play with each other. We cannot be selfish in the field," said Haitian hitman Sony Norde.

"East Bengal's defence can be very bad against some other team but against us they can become very good. If the EB coach sends 3-4 players to stop me, we have enough quality players to make a difference on some other side of the field," said Norde.

On being asked if the Haitian will once again bring out his famous "Stain-gun celebration", he replied, "Hope so."

He believes that Minerva match is a thing of the past and vowed that his team would go on to fight for the three points.

"Team is looking good for the last 4 days. It's not only about me, there are a lot of experienced players.  We are ready to fight and let's hope we keep on the momentum," said the Mohun Bagan skipper.

Here goes the probable first xi for Mohun Bagan on Sunday: Shilton; Bagui, Kingshuk, Kingsley, Ricky; Norde, Yuta, Shilton D'Silva, Azharuddin; Kromah, Dicka

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