I-League 2017: Shillong Lajong look for hat-trick of wins against Chennai

Shillong [India], Jan.30 : Shillong Lajong FC will aim to complete a hat-trick of wins at home when they take on Chennai City FC in the ongoing sixth edition of Hero I-League match at the JN Stadium in Shillong on Tuesday.

High on confidence after consecutive wins over Minerva Punjab and Mumbai FC, the Reds are raring to go against Chennai, who travelled to the pine city right after their home match against Aizawl FC in which they registered their maiden win of the season.

Tuesday's encounter in Shillong will test the fitness levels and game preparedness of both sides, especially the visitors, considering the tight fixture they are dealing with.

Chennai travelled to Shillong only yesterday and have hardly had any time for a good long session at the pitch.

However, favourites Lajong cannot be complacent against the Southerners who have displayed quality work on the field in their last two outings.

In a pre-match conference on Monday, Lajong coach Thangboi Singto said his boys have now started to gel as a unit and the challenge now is to continue playing in the fashion they did against Santosh Kashyap's Mumbai FC.

"As I have mentioned before, the team needed time to play together to gel and I think it has finally started to show (on the field).

We have to now continue with this style of play. We started with the first home game against Minerva and we have progressed from there. We played much better against Mumbai FC in terms of creating chances, need to carry the momentum forward," Singto said.

The Lajong gaffer added, "The I-League duration is a challenging one but we're ready for the tight fixture." Singto also warned his boys that Chennai are no pushovers and have a nice combination of youth and experience in their ranks.

While Dan Ignet will be a doubtful starter, Zodingliana will miss the game against Chennai. Meanwhile, for Chennai coach Robin Raja, preparing for the Hero I-League has been a race against time since day 1.

Replying to a query on how the team are negating the pressure of the tight fixture, Raja said his side has to deal with such issues from the very beginning and the boys have it handled it well so far.

"Five of our players joined us three days before the first game. So, we are taking it match by match," Raja said adding that though the weather and change in terrain pose challenges, the boys are expected to cope with it in football.

While Shillong Lajong are currently fifth in the standings with two wins and three losses, Chennai are below at ninth with four points.

Source: ANI