Shillong, January 13: After making a giant move in the I-League table to the pole, Minerva Punjab FC will face the Lajong test at the Nehru Stadium in Shillong on Sunday (January 14) at 2 pm.
Fresh from their 1-0 win against Indian Arrows, Shillong Lajong head into the match with hopes of continuing their winning momentum against the Punjab-based side, who humbled Mohun Bagan in Kolkata recently.
Shillong Lajong coach Bobby Nongbet said that they will be heading into the game with the intention of winning the match.
"We have come up with a good game plan for tomorrow's match, you will have to see that tomorrow. But one thing that we need to improve on is goal scoring," said Nongbet.
On being asked whether Sunday's game will be a close one, Nongbet replied, "I think it will be difficult for Minerva as well. This is not Punjab and they will have to adjust to the cold climate here in Shillong, which our players are already accustomed to."
"It will be a good advantage for us and our win against Arrows is still fresh in our minds so we are fairly confident about tomorrow", he further added.
"All in all, things have been good for us. We are ready for the next game and we will try to grab the three points. I am very happy about the goal I scored in the last match and I am now confident. I have trained very hard for this," chipped in Lajong forward Abdoulaye Koffi.
Earlier, Minerva Punjab FC coach Wangkhem Khogen Singh said that the team is determined to win against Lajong and being placed at the top of the table will not make them complacent at any point in time.
On being asked about the challenge Minerva would face in Sunday's match, Khogen replied, "I don't think the climate will be a factor but the players will need to adjust to the cold".
Minerva goalkeeper Rakshit Dagar said, "It's always difficult going up against a home side and it will not be an easy task against Lajong or any other team for that matter. So, we have to stay compact and we have to fight as we had shown in the game against Mohun Bagan and we can't take any team lightly because I don't think that there is much difference between us and Lajong. Both are very young teams and both have more or less the same philosophy".
"After beating Mohun Bagan, the atmosphere in the team has been great but we know what position we are in and what we want to achieve as a team. We want to take each game at a time and we have great team bonding. Everything is good. We are confident for tomorrow but as I said, we can't take any team lightly. We are also an underdog team, not a big club and we respect every club we play against," concluded Dagar.
Shillong Lajong vs Minerva Punjab
Live on Star Sports 2 and Hotstar
At 2 pm
Source: AIFF Media