New Delhi: Determined to keep the pressure on leaders Churchill Brothers, Trevor Morgan’s East Bengal will have to overcome the freezing cold and a rejuvenated opposition when they take on ONGC, in an I-League encounter, at the Ambedkar Stadium, on Tuesday.
Ever since Mohun Bagan discard Santosh Kashyap took over as coach, ONGC have made a remarkable turn around in the league. Having collected seven points in the last three matches, ONGC are now placed eighth in the league, compared to the 13th position they were a few weeks ago.
To add to it, the chilling cold currently prevailing in the capital is a matter of great discomfort for the Calcutta team. “In Goa, we were roaming around in shorts and T-shirts. The temperature there was around 30 degrees (Celsius), and here it is less than 3… It certainly takes a toll on the players,” said Morgan.
“It will be difficult no doubt, but top sides have to adjust to all conditions and we will do that. Cold can never be an excuse… We are determined to get over that,” said the East Bengal coach.
With 27 points from 13 matches, and placed third behind Churchill Brothers and Pune FC, Morgan has his target set. “We have to keep the pressure on Churchill, who are at the top… We should go back with full points… That’s the aim,” the coach said.
Morgan has reasons to feel confident. After two reverses, a 4-1 victory over two-time champions Salgaocar in Goa was certainly morale boosting. What was more encouraging was their main striker Edeh Chidi’s form, who struck three goals in that match.
On Tuesday, while East Bengal will be without the services of midfielders Sanju Pradhan and Harmanjyot Singh Khabra, ONGC have to start sans their star striker Eric Brown, who is suspended for the game.
Coach Kashyap, however, feels that Brown’s absence won’t be a big problem. “Keni (Kenistan) and Kailash (Patel) are back… So, I don’t think there will be any problem. Football is a team game after all.”
In the other matches of the day, Sporting Clube de Goa play Lajong FC while Air India face the challenge of Salgaocar.