Calcutta: In order to reduce the gap with tabletoppers Bengaluru FC, East Bengal must secure full points in Saturday’s I-League game against Pune FC.
To make sure it happens, the team management is making all efforts to include both Edeh Chidi and Mehtab Hussain for the encounter. Chidi had sustained a shoulder injury during East Bengal’s previous appearance, versus Mohammedan Sporting, while Mehtab suffered an injury during the India-Bangladesh international friendly, in Margao, a month ago.
The presence of both players will certainly provide an edge to Armando Colaco’s side that has been able to record two wins on the trot in the I-League after a long time. Although Colaco had earlier expressed doubts over Chidi’s availability, the Nigerian has recovered fast, something that raises hopes in the red-and-gold camp.
“Chidi started practising today. He looked quite good. All of us know how dedicated he is. He tries to give his 100 per cent even if he’s not fully fit.
“As of now, he has recovered well and it’s likely that he will feature in our game versus Pune FC. It’s a must-win match for us and we would definitely like a player like Chidi to be part of our line-up in this game,” said senior footballer Harmanjyot Singh Khabra, who has also been leading the team in Mehtab’s absence, after Thursday’s practice session, at the club ground.
Chidi, though is keeping his fingers crossed. “Recovery has been steady. Let’s see how I feel on match-day,” he said.
For his part, Mehtab is hopeful about making a comeback on Saturday.
On the other hand, the misfiring Odafa Okolie admitted this has been the worst season he has gone through. According to Odafa, it was his quadracep injury at the start of the season that crippled both his and Mohun bagan’s prospects.
“This is the worst season I went through. The injury I suffered at the start of this season ruined all our chances. Not being able to win a trophy (for Mohun Bagan) will remain a regret if I leave this club when the season ends,” he said.
Meanwhile, speculations are doing the rounds that the star of Bangladesh’s Dhanmondi Club, Sony Nordy, may join Bagan next season. Club officials, though, remain tight-lipped on the matter.