Shillong: The return of rock-solid Korean defender Minchol Son to Shillong Lajong FC squad will prove to be a tough challenge for visiting Mohun Bagan as both lock horns in a Hero I-League round 8 match at the J N Stadium here.
The North East giant comes into this match with a vital away win against Dempo Sports Club last week when they earned a comfortable 2-0 win with a goal each from Boithang Haokip and Cornell Glen.
On the other hand the Mariners also are on a high after upsetting defending champions Bengaluru FC 4?0 at Kolkata.
While Lajong have always had good record at home against the Mariners, they hope to earn three points vital to improve their standings this season.
The return of Son to the starting XI has boosted the morale of the team and this was evident in the last match.
Coach Thangboi Singto is confident that his boys are getting better with Son and Aiborlang Khongjee guarding the back line and the likes of Glen, Boithang, Len and Uilliams attacking in a fully fit squad.
"It is a very crucial match tomorrow. The boys have been working really hard and we hope to give the best. We have to be stronger at the back and play defensively well and don't concede an early goal. The players upfront will also need to perform and score goals and help the team win tomorrow's match," he said.
For Mohun Bagan, the impressive foreign contingent of Sony Norde, Yusa Katsumi, Pierre Boya and Bello Razaq are all likely to get team starts in tomorrow's game.
Coach Sanjoy Sen also has on his side established Indian players like Balwant Singh and Jeje.
"The Reds are a difficult side and to beat Lajong at home will not be an easy task. Ours boys have to step up their game and fight hard to win the match tomorrow," Sen said.
Acknowledging the threat posed by free-kick specialist, Haokip, he praised the Lajong midfielder in the pre- match press conference and said, "Boithang is a good midfielder and is a great sportsman... a very talented Indian footballer."