Mohun Bagan Super Giant assistant coach Manuel Perez is looking to secure all three points when they face Punjab FC in a crunch game in the Indian Super League (ISL) at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in New Delhi on Saturday.

The Mariners currently stand third on the league table, having already secured a playoff spot after playing 19 matches in the ISL. The sole target in mind for them at present is the coveted League Shield. They are five points away from the league leaders Mumbai City FC, with a game in hand. The Mariners will be hoping to surpass Odisha FC in second place as they face Punjab FC on Saturday.

Meanwhile, newcomers Punjab FC are proving to be an excellent addition to the ISL. They have staged a brilliant comeback in the second half of the league. The Shers will be focusing all their efforts on securing a playoff spot, currently standing in 10th place after playing 20 matches, just three points away from sixth-placed Chennaiyin FC.

Also Read: Punjab FC to play Mohun Bagan SG, East Bengal FC behind closed doors 

Assistant coach Manuel Perez commenced the pre-match press conference, addressing the absence of head coach Antonio Lopez Habas due to a health condition.

"Without Antonio Habas, it's difficult. He's in recovery, so it's tough. However, we are professionals, and we are capable of continuing to win and pushing forward without him for now. It will be tough," Perez said during the press conference.

Perez was quizzed about the match fitness of their midfielders Joni Kauko and Deepak Tangri for the upcoming match. The coach was also asked to share his approach for the remaining fixtures concerning this season's Shield race.

He replied "Deepak Tangri and Joni Kauko are ready for tomorrow; they are travelling with the team. It's in our hands (winning the League Shield). We will have to win tomorrow, focusing only on that, in Delhi against Punjab FC. We will think about the remaining matches in the future; we will take it game by game. Tomorrow is like a final; it's an important day. Tomorrow, we are going to fight for the win, for all three points."

The Spaniard conveyed his positive thoughts on their next challenge, expressing his opinion that they are probably one of the best-performing outfits in the second part of the league stages so far.

"We know that Punjab FC is a good team; we have also seen the statistics from their second leg of the league. Mumbai City FC, Mohun Bagan Super Giant, and Punjab FC are among the very best teams, with more points than others (in the second half of the season). This indicates that they are doing a good job; they have talented players and a really good coach as well. We are going to face a difficult team; they are fighting for the sixth position while we are fighting for the Shield. It's an important match for both of us, but we are only focusing on our objectives," he affirmed.

We all have to take responsibility to win the next game: Defender Subhasish Bose

Captain Subhasish Bose joined assistant coach Manuel Perez during the pre-match press conference ahead of their clash against the Shers.

The defender has been one of the major driving forces behind the Mariners' mid-season resurgence in form in the ISL this season.

Bose has led the side in all 19 of their outings so far, securing six clean sheets and scoring a goal for his side, while also creating numerous scoring opportunities and making vital blocks.

He feels the players will be able to make a comeback once again following their defeat to Chennaiyin FC in their previous match.

"You must have the mentality to handle pressure when you're playing for a club like Mohun Bagan Super Giant. We have three matches left, and our players take the field with the intention of winning every game. This approach will remain the same in the remaining matches as well," Bose stated.

The Indian international also shed light on the value of their head coach to the side and discussed how the team will cope in his absence.

"Our head coach is an integral part of our team. He manages everything from strategies to formations - he takes care of everything. His value is unparalleled. Unfortunately, he is not well. I hope he will get well soon. But since we are professionals, it is our responsibility to help the team in this situation. We all have to take responsibility to win the next game," he commented.