Shillong Lajong take on Mumbai FC in their second home game of the season at the back of a morale boosting 2-1 win over Minerva Punjab while Mumbai FC come into the match at the back of a 1-0 defeat at home by Lajong’s neighbour Aizawl FC.
Thangboi Singto of Lajong, speaking ahead of the game, was very pleased with his team’s performance in their last match but concedes they faded in the second half which gave Minerva a chance to get back into the game.
Commenting on visitors Mumbai, Singto discussed, “To play against a good and a tough team you have to play consistently from the start till the end of the game. We had a few days to rest, recover, re-plan and regroup. It has been always been tough to face Mumbai FC,'' he explained.
The 42-year-old believes that playing on the home soil shall benefit his side. Further, he mentioned that he is most likely to start with the winning combination from the last fixture.
''The advantage for us is that we play at home. We had a good last match but we need to do better tomorrow. We might go with the same line-up or make a few changes,'' stressed the Manipuri.
Talking about the injury concerns in the team, Thangboi revealed about the players who would be sidelined. ''Zodingliana (Ralte) is still out and so is Dan (Ignat). Hopefully he (Dan) can play in the next match (against Chennai City),'' he concluded.
Mumbai FC’s head coach Kashyap was clearly delighted to be back in the place he calls his second home. He admitted it would be a tough match against Lajong due to a couple of factors. ''Shillong is the toughest away game. The weather is challenging, the home support is good too,'' he commented.
On being questioned what has been the issue for The Mumbaikars' disappointing result, Kashyap answered, ''(Not) Scoring is the problem that’s why we lost. Simple!”
He however feels the addition of some foreign players namely-Robson Chaves Santana and Densill Theobald, will be pivotal in helping the Yellows finish off their chances.
Mumbai will be without the services of two of players as the duo is sidelined due to fitness concerns. ''Lalchhawnkima is out following a hamstring injury he faced in the tie at Bengaluru. Pratesh Shirodkar is out too, he faced a knee jerk in the match against Aizawl. They are at Mumbai for rehab,'' said Kashyap.
Lastly, the 50-year-old manager spoke about their long journey away from Cooperage starting from Shillong on Saturday. ''We have four away games now. We’ll try our best to do better and move up on the table,'' he signed off.