Confident ahead of final clash against Bengaluru FC: Mohun Bagan's Sony Norde
Kolkata, May 29: Mohun Bagan's talismanic attacking midfielder Sony Norde on Friday said the squad is "confident" going into the last I-League encounter against Bengaluru FC on Sunday, knowing a stalemate would be enough to get rid of their 13 years of I-League drought.
Norde, who has scored nine goals in 18 games, expressed that the Mohun Bagan camp will be as focused and determined as a lion courting his prey, come Sunday.
"We are confident ahead of our clash. We have worked very hard to be in the position that we are in now. We need to work our socks off and perform if we have to defeat one of the best teams in India that is Bengaluru FC," Haitian Norde was quoted as saying by aiff.com.
"Our team is one big family and everybody will be elated to win the I-League trophy and end the draught," he said.
Another stalwart in the Bagan contingent is Japanese Yusa Katsumi, who has dissected I-League defences with a single swing of his foot. The 26-year-old has faith in the ability of his teammates and opines the triumph of collectivity over individuality in the Mohun Bagan set-up.
"This season, the whole club has worked extremely hard. There have been many ups and down but we have stuck together and have let the results speak for themselves," Katsumi said.
"We have faith in our abilities and I am sure as a team we are focused on the task ahead," he said.
Matches like these are perfect stage: Shilton Paul
With the stakes high and the defending champions desperate to retain their title, league leaders Mohun Bagan might be feeling the heat, or so one would presume. But Bagan's defensive wall, their ever-dependable defender who robs his opponents of ball possession with utmost grace, Bello Rasaq, thinks otherwise.
"There is no pressure," mentioned the 30-year-old Nigerian.
"As a team, we will reap what we have sown, and that is nothing but sweat through hard work and practice. We have to keep pushing for the finish line and win the I-League now. We, as they say, are 'hungry' for it," he said.
Meanwhile, captain and goalkeeper Shilton Paul fantasizes how it might be to win the I-League.
"Winning the I-League will be a dream come true, I want to win this trophy desperately," he said.
"I am more than excited for the match as matches likes these are a perfect stage to express oneself, show the courage and mettle that one possesses."