Salgaocar keen to maintain momentum against Mohun Bagan
Margao: Salgaocar have their task cut out as they face Mohun Bagan tomorrow in the ninth round of the I-League, to be played at the Nehru Stadium here.
Salgaocar, who got back their winning momentum after two registering two straight victories -- against AIFF XI and a thrilling win over Churchill Brothers -- would be looking to carry it forward when they face a depleted Mohun Bagan.
Bagan suffered their second straight defeat after Subhash Bhowmick took over the reins from Standley Rosario.
On the other hand, Salgaocar have been consistently playing well as a team. With six wins and two losses, they have managed to maintain their second spot with 18 points, four points behind table-toppers East Bengal.
The team`s attack revolves around Japanese striker Ryuji Sueoka and his immense running has kept the opponents` defence under tenterhooks.
Ryuji, who plays as a withdrawn striker, has been a source of inspiration for the midfield and has kept the attack going along with Yusif Yakubu.
He has been well supported on the flanks by Gilbert Oliveiro and Anthony Barbosa, which saw him scoring seven goals.
Salgaocar`s defence has also held the forte well with captain Luciano Somborosa leading the charge.
However, team coach Karim Bencharifa is keeping his fingers crossed as he is aware that it is going to be easy against Bagan, who have got some good foreign players like Baretto, Chidi and Muritala in their ranks, who are capable of changing the tide in their favour on a given day.
"I expect my boys to play the same way they have performed against Churchill to maintain the winning ways," Bencharifa said.
Meanwhile, Bagan are struggling to get their rhythm right. Four defeats have pushed them to ninth place with eight points.
Although they have a lethal strike force in the form of Edeh Chedi, Jose Baretto and Muritala Ali but they have failed to fire so far. The midfield has not performed as per the expectations.
The defence, which is the weakest link, will have to give their best against Salgaocar who have a good strike force.
Bagan coach-cum-manager, Subhash Bhowmick knows that they cannot afford another defeat as it will further demoralise the spirit of the team.
He has warned his boys to give their best in order to collect full points against Salgaocar, whose spirits are high after six victories and also have a home advantage.