Kolkata, Feb 6 (IANS): In a battle between two sides struggling for consistency, Mohammedan Sporting will host Churchill Brothers at the Kishore Bharati Krirangan in Kolkata on Tuesday.
Since putting three past Mumbai Kenkre, Mohammedan Sporting have failed to score in their last three games, most recently in a goalless draw with TRAU on Friday. The Black and White Brigade have won just one of their last seven matches and are languishing in ninth place, only three points above the relegation zone.
Mohammedan head coach Kibu Vicuna, however, believes the results haven't done justice to his side's performance on the pitch. They became the first team this season to avoid defeat away to TRAU and could've got more than that if not for their poor finishing in the final third.
"It's true we are creating many chances, which is a good thing but have failed to score goals in our last few games. We need to be aggressive in the attacking third and improve our finishing," said the Spaniard in the pre-match press conference.
"After our good game against TRAU, we got just one point. We were on the better side that day, and I think tomorrow we are going to continue playing this way. Of course, our focus is to get the three points. That's the objective," he added.
It's astounding for Mohammedan Sporting, who finished as runners-up last year, to be involved in a relegation battle this season. With not much difference in points between teams in the bottom half of the table like Mumbai Kenkre, NEROCA and Rajasthan United, Vicuna is now centred on finishing as high as possible on the table. "We need to be focused on winning our games. That's the only thing we can do right now."
For their opponents, Churchill Brothers, a streak of four consecutive clean sheets came to an end on Saturday in a 0-3 defeat away to Sreenidi Deccan. The Red Machines have failed to win more than two matches in a row this season and sit in fifth place with 20 points, but they could be overtaken by Mohammedan if they lose tomorrow. Since their thumping 5-0 success against Rajasthan United, Churchill have scored just once in their next three games.
At the pre-match press conference, Churchill Brothers assistant coach Mateus Costa was asked about his outlook on the bleak possibility of his side entering the title race. "Every team has an eye on the title but we just want to go out there and enjoy ourselves. Mohammedan is a good team. We expect a good fight and we'll fight for three points as well," he replied.
Costa believes there have been several factors which have prevented his side from delivering consistent performances, however, feels his side needs to do much better. "In football, the ups and downs are always there. Yes, we have to be consistent. We've had some injury issues, but we are professionals and we have to put more effort to be consistent," Costa said.