Mohammedan Sporting Coach Sanjoy Sen desperately wants to exorcise the ghosts of last season by sealing the issue in the penultimate match itself when they meet local rivals Bhawanipore FC in the final round tie of the 2nd Division League here at the Football Stadium in Bangalore on Thursday.
Mohammedan Sporting, then coached by Aloke Mukherjee, could not get the better of United Sikkim last year in a game where the former needed to win, while a draw was enough for the latter to qualify for the I-League. The match ended 1-1.
This time round, Mohammedan Sporting - 17 points from 8 matches -- need just one point from any of their last two engagements to qualify for the I-League 2013-14 season. But Coach Sen is wary of the heartbreaking encore.
"Last year, we all know what happened. Mohammedan Sporting failed to beat United Sikkim right at the end. The match ended 1-1 and the Sikkim qualified as they needed a point. So in football nothing can be guaranteed. We don't want to leave anything till the end. The lesson is learnt," Sen said.
Sen added that their opponents are a more balanced outfit and have the experienced duo of Jose Ramires Barreto and Hudson Lima Silva to boost their arsenal.
"They are a more balanced side than us. Their midfield is very good. They will also go for the kill for obvious reasons. It will be a good contest. The likes of Barreto and Lima add to the threat. Everyone knows what they are capable of.
"But man marking is not my style. I prefer zonal marking. So there is no special plan as such to stop the duo. But of course we will pay them due respect and track their moves," Sen informed.
Bhawanipore are just behind the leaders Mohammedan Sporting, having 13 points from 8 matches.
The sides could not be separated in the first round of the final phase.
Match starts 2 pm.
(Image courtesy: AIFF Media)