Fifth-placed Atletico de Kolkata and sixth-placed Chennaiyin FC will be going head to head in the Indian Super League on Sunday. Both the teams only have four more games left to go in the group stage and they can't afford to lose if they want to qualify for the play-offs.
Kolkata manager José Molina faced the media ahead of his team's clash against the reigning champions. Here are the key points from the press conference.
The two teams are only separated by just one point and both of them are very close to the fourth spot. The 46-year old was asked if the race for the fourth spot is between his team and Chennai. Molina did not agree to that suggestion and was of the opinion that anyone could make it to the play-offs.
"It's not about Chennai or us. All the teams are very close. After yesterday's result, Pune is closer (to enter the play-offs) now. They have revived. There is still four more games to go. I think no team can say now if they will be in the semi-finals. Everyone of us is confident, but we have to fight. We need to win matches. I think it's not about Chennai and us", Molina said.
The Bengal Tigers have never lost to their Sunday's opponents in the league stages. They have only lost once to the Super Machans and that was in last year's semi-finals. Many people would consider this as an advantage for Kolkata, but Molina doesn't think so. The former Atletico de Kolkata made it clear that he is not someone who lives in the past.
"No. I don't live in the past, I live in the present. The past is past. That's good that Atletico de Kolkata has not lost (to Chennai in the league stage) before, but to win tomorrow we have to play very well. It doesn't matter what we did before. It's good for the past coach (Antonio Habas), but for me, I have to tell my team to win tomorrow", the Atletico de Kolkata manager told.
The defensive department has been a cause of concern for Molina as they have been prone to errors at times. However, the former Valencia player did not show any signs of disappointments. The Kolkata manager backed his players by saying that everyone makes mistakes.
"My defenders make mistakes sometimes, Chennai defenders make sometimes and Delhi defenders also make mistakes sometimes. Everybody makes mistakes. Sometimes the opponents don't take advantage of that mistakes and sometimes they take advantage, they might score. That's football. I am absolutely confident in my defence, in my players. We'll try to play our best tomorrow. We'll try to don't do mistakes and to win the match", the 46-year old told the media.
However, the Spaniard later said that trying not make mistakes is one of the important things that his team have to do on Sunday. Molina also wants his team to give their 100 percentage against the Super Machans.
The former Spanish goalkeeper also talked about the strengths of his opponents. Molina was full of praise for the Marco Materazzi-managed side. He especially spoke about the team's solid defence and also the striker pairing of Jeje Lalpekhlua and Davide Succi.
"Chennai is a strong team. They have good players. Their defence is very strong. Maybe you think they are not so strong in defence, but I think they are strong. They suffered a severe loss against Delhi, but the rest of the matches it is difficult to score against Chennai.
“They defend very well, they are intense. In the last match against Pune, they played really well. Their strikers are complete and different. Jeje (Lalpekhlua) and (Davide) Succi are different (from each other), but they do a good job together", Molina said about Chennaiyin FC.
Molina ended his press conference by expressing his uncertainties over two things. One, the players he will be playing on Sunday. Two, whether he will be able to watch his former team Atletico Madrid go head to head against rivals Real Madrid.
However, he confirmed that winger Sameehg Doutie won't be available for team selection against Chennai due to a hamstring injury.