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The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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EB tread cautiously

Calcutta: Kingfisher East Bengal will aim to consolidate their lead at the top of I-League table and maintain their winning form when they take on ONGC at the Salt Lake Stadium, on Saturday.

East Bengal will be high on confidence as they will be coming into the match on the back of a convincing away win against Churchill Brothers. On the eve of the match, coach Trevor James Morgan said his team will be looking to build on the success.

“A home match gives you the right opportunity to build up on the points tally and we hope to do that tomorrow,” said Morgan.

ONGC, on the other hand, are enjoying a good run in the competition. In their last two home matches, they have drawn with Mohun Bagan and defeated defending champions Dempo SC.

No wonder then that Morgan is not taking ONGC lightly. “I must thank ONGC for beating Dempo SC It helped us to gain the top position,” Morgan remarked. “They are a very good side and are capable of challenging any side in the tournament. They have given a creditable performance so far in the tournament and I have to give them the due importance.”

While East Bengal will tread a cautious path, ONGC’s ‘sole objective’ will be to break the East Bengal’s rhythm. Speaking after the practice session, coach Subrata Bhattacharjee said: “East Bengal are a very strong side. I have observed that they play in a good rhythm, so our sole objective is to break their rhythm. We will be happy if we can snatch points from them,” said Bhattacharjee.

For the red and gold brigade, midfielder Mehtab Hussain will return after missing the last match due to injury. He will be playing alongside Penn Orji in the middle while Ishfaq Ahmed and Harmanjot Singh Khabra manning the flanks.