Chennai City FC will battle Mohammedan Sporting, as both sides will want to avoid falling further down in the race for the top half of the I-League table, at the Kalyani Municipal Stadium tomorrow, February 23.
The match will kick-off at 7pm IST and will be broadcasted on the 1Sports channel, whilst being streamed live on their Facebook page.
Mohammedan Sporting, who were unbeaten in the first six games, now suddenly find themselves on a two-match losing streak after their 0-3 defeat to Aizawl FC. Now, the Black Panthers sit in seventh place with 10 points from eight games. With new coach Sankarlal Chakraborty at the helm, Mohammedan Sporting will look to put their past performances behind them and aim to move into the top half by defeating Chennai City.
Speaking at the virtual pre-match press conference, head coach Sankarlal Chakraborty said, “It is a tough job for us at the moment. We have discussed where we were going wrong, and are practising to make them right in training. I only hope that we can come up with a positive result from the remaining games.”
“Every moment is challenging. Mohammedan SC is an institution of football. If we cannot accept this challenge, it speaks to our character in our lives as well. Every coach has their own philosophy, and mine is to not back away from a challenge. What happened in the past few games, we cannot change that. My main focus right now is to regroup with the players and rebuild our team game.”
New signing Pedro Manzi was beside his new coach at the press conference. The Spanish forward previously represented Chennai City in the 2018-19 season, netting 21 goals, and leading them to their maiden title. Manzi said, “I am very excited about my return to the I-League. When I played here two seasons ago, I lifted the trophy and had a good time. This is football! We need to move on from the last result and focus on the next game against Chennai City with positivity.”
Chennai City FC gave a hard fight to Churchill Brothers but lost the game in the final minute of the game. While the loss still pegs them in ninth place in the Hero I-League standings, Satyasagara’s side can make it into the top-six if they win both their remaining games, starting with Mohammedan Sporting.
Speaking at the official press conference, head coach Satyasagara said, “The team as a whole played very well in the last game. They worked hard, but unfortunately, we conceded at the last minute due to a lack of focus. We are continuously working on ourselves during training sessions, and can only hope we build on the positives.”
Speaking on the reunion on opposite ends for Chennai City and their former player Pedro Manzi, Satyasagara said, “He (Pedro Manzi) had a successful season with us. Manzi has great technique when he gets the ball, especially during a one-on-one. We need to focus on cutting off the distribution from midfield. If we are able to do that, it will be hard for him to score.”
Defender Ranjeet Singh Pandre said, “There is a good vibe in the camp. We have lost two consecutive games, but we still have a chance to make it into the top-six. I believe all players are determined to win the last two games, starting with Mohammedan Sporting. We are going to fight hard and give our best.”