East Bengal take on Channai City FC on Monday evening in what could be a crucial tie in the title race. The former have accumulated 19 points in 10 games whereas league leaders Chennai managed to gather 24 points out of a possible 33.
East Bengal boss Alejandro Menendez dismissed the claim that this fixture could be the title decider but refused to play down the importance of the fixture.
“This will be a very good match. Chennai is on top of the league but we are in good form as well. We are in the middle of the league. This match will not be the decider but this match is important. In the first leg, we lost since we missed some chances to score. Now our team is in better shape and more consistent. They have got very good individual players. But we are confident," said Menendez.
The Red and Gold brigade bolstered their squad in the past two months by signing Jaime Santos and Toni Dovale. Alejandro maintained that he is happy with the players he has at his disposal.
“Yes, we got two new players. Jaime (Santos) joined us last month whereas (Toni) Dovale started in the last match. We are not missing anyone. We are waiting for Enrique (Esqueda) to get fit. I am happy with the players that I have.”
Lalram Chullova received a red card in East Bengal’s game against Indian Arrows for headbutting an opposition player. Menendez is banking on the right-back’s replacement to do a good job in his absence.
“It needs to be corrected. We must ensure that it does not get repeated. But right now, I am not thinking about it. We are thinking only about the match. We have players who can play instead of Chullova.”
“We don't want to talk about the championship. We are taking one match at a time. We have prepared well for the past two days. We are confident that we will give them a hard time,” the East Bengal boss concluded.