Trevor Morgan faces a litmus test in the very first match East Bengal play after a lengthy gap courtesy the international break. TheRed and Goldsface arch-rivals in the reverse leg of the I-League Kolkata Derby in Siliguri on Sunday.
The Briton was quick to acknowledge the fact that his 'closed-door' training sessions have been fruitful in the build-up to the high-voltage encounter. " The preparation has been okay. The long break can work two ways. We gave the players 10-12 days off, trained hard last week and also played two practice games. Tomorrow will be the test to see."
Most of the focus on the eve of the match was on veteran Mehtab Hossain, for whom this could be the last derby considering his promise of leaving East Bengal after ten years if they fail to win the I-League.
"Mehtab's been a fantastic player for East Bengal, he has been a great servant. I hope he can finish his East Bengal career on a winning note. Others are well aware of how Mehtab has played for us, I don't have to go around and tell them (the players) to play for him," Morgan expressed his feelings on his midfield general.
The former Dempo SC coach did not see much of a difference between the first leg and the upcoming second leg of the derby this season. However, he pointed out that things would get tough for them if they lose considering they are three points behind league leaders Aizawl FC.
" No difference. With four games to go, it will be very difficult to pick up points if we won't win tomorrow. If we win, we go four points clear of Mohun Bagan and if we lose, Mohun Bagan will be two points ahead of us with a game in hand. We do depend on other teams but it wouldn't matter who we are playing tomorrow. What it will depend upon is that do we pick up points or not."
He added, " The minimum,I feel that we need to remain in the hunt is a point. Can't say the game will be a do or die, never know what is going to happen in football. If we win tomorrow, it puts us right back in it."
The former Bournemouth player called in his troops to be more responsible after dropping points against Chennai City and Churchill Brothers last month. "Their (Mohun Bagan) current form shows that they are in a better form. Our players have to wear the shirt and show what it means to them. I have been very disappointed by the boys in the last two games, tomorrow is the day to make it right."
Lastly, he gave a sigh of relief to East Bengal faithfuls indicating that star playmaker Wedson Anselme could be included in the playing eleven after a long injury layoff. " Wedsonis in the squad. He has been out for five weeks so his fitness levels are not going to be up toothers. But yes, he has scored a goal in one of the practice games we played mid-week," he concluded.