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Posted on Dec 05, 05:45PM | IBNS
Nine points separate East Bengal and Mohun Bagan in the I-League table at the moment. But Trevor Morgan, the East Bengal coach isn't much willing to read into the difference in the points table. In an exclusive interview with www.the-aiff.com, Morgan speaks at length about the forthcoming Kolkata Derby, its importance, the emotion involved, the injuries, Bagan striker Odafa Okolie and much more.
Describe the preparations for the Derby.
We have given the players off on Wednesday (December 5). From Thursday we will restart our training session and prepare for the Derby. The boys needed some rest as they had trained after coming from Shillong.
Are there any injury concerns in the team?
Nothing serious! There are a few niggles here and there but I believe the full squad will be available for selection ahead of the Big Match.
Does the gulf in the points table between the two clubs give East Bengal a psychological edge?
No, I don't think so; not in a Derby at least. Here the stakes automatically become higher and there is a lot of emotion involved. No matter what the points table show, players, management and supporters get that extra kick before a Derby.
Personally, how do you treat the biggest match in Indian club football calendar?
(Laughs) Obviously I realise the importance of an East Bengal vs Mohun Bagan match and the tradition that's involved with it. It's really big. Everyone looks forward to the day and they want their team to win. The pride, the enthusiasm and madness surrounding this fixture is amazing. It drives all of us to give that much extra.
But for me personally, it's just three points. In a League, it's just another match that won't fetch you four points! So winning stays important as does every single match. But I reiterate it is for the fanaticism and relevance that makes this match special.
Do you feel any additional pressure every time you step onto the ground for a Kolkata Derby?