The Telegraph
Thursday , January 12 , 2017
 
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Bagan likely to play before Empty stands

Calcutta: Mohun Bagan are likely to play Friday's I-League match against Lajong FC before an empty stadium at Barasat.

Chief minister Mamata Banerjee is scheduled to attend a function at Barasat on the same day and the police have expressed their inability to provide adequate security. This has forced Bagan to go ahead with the match without the presence of their fans.

The green tribunal's decision on Bagan's appeal to play matches at the Rabindra Sarobar Stadium is expected to be known on Thursday.

Bagan won their opening match against Churchill Brothers riding a Balwant Singh goal, but are cautious ahead of their next match. "Lajong have given us a lot of trouble in the past. So, I have told my players to stay focused," Bagan coach Sanjay Sen said.

"I have watched Lajong's previous match. We will sit down and discuss our strategy... I will discuss with my players and analyse their style of play. They may have not performed well in their opener, but we cannot underestimate our opponents.

I have warned my players to be up for the task."

Mohun Bagan's under-22 player Subhasish Bose will be out of the Lajong match after being sent off against Churchill. Sen, though, feels he has suitable replacements in the side.

"Subhasish played well until he was shown the red card. He showed a lot of confidence. I have at least four-five under-22 players who can take his place. We will decide only after Thursday's practice session," said Sen.

Sony Norde will arrive in the city in the early hours of Thursday, but is unlikely to be part of the team for Friday's contest. "It's good that Sony will be joining us...

"He is a quality player and was with us for the last two seasons... His contribution was remarkable. But I have to assess his condition before fielding him. I can only decide on that after seeing him at practice."

Lajong had a disastrous start to their I-League campaign as they were thrashed 3-0 by reigning champions Bengaluru FC.

The Shillong-based side has been handicapped by the departure of Boithang Haokip and Robin Gurung, who have joined DSK Shivajians and East Bengal, respectively.

Nigerian Penn Orji and Brazilian Uilliam Souza Silva are also not part of the side on this occasion.


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