Calcutta: Full points from the Saturday Derby would have kept East Bengal in an even better position as far as extending their lead at the top of the I-League table is concerned.
But with Prayag United SC forcing Churchill Brothers to a draw, on Sunday, Trevor James Morgan’s men can certainly afford to breathe a little easier as they still enjoy a one-point lead over the Goans.
“There are bound to be ups and downs in a marathon league. You never know who’s going to falter when. So it won’t be wise to draw conclusions at this stage.
“I believe our title prospects are still very much alive,” midfielder Mehtab Hossain said on Sunday.
Mehtab stressed on the fact that his team will be able to play more freely in their upcoming matches now that the pressure of a Derby is not there.
“Obviously, pressure will be less… But we cannot afford to be complacent. It becomes more of a mind-game, as the team that thrives under pressure comes through.
“Nonetheless, we can now approach the upcoming matches with a tad relaxed frame of mind now that the Derby is over,” he pointed out.
Recalling the actions on Saturday, Mehtab opined that both teams had a fair share of chances, as it wasn’t about one team dominating the show.
“If they (Bagan) cry about being denied a penalty and so on, I will say that we too had opportunities coming our way. The scoreline would have been different had we utilised those chances,” he added.
Bagan, on the other hand, get ready for their CFL Super Nine tie against Bhowanipore Club, on Tuesday, at the Salt Lake Stadium.
For the record, CFL is the only tournament Bagan have a chance of winning.