Mohun Bagan Super Giant assistant coach Manuel Cascallana has urged his team to deal with the pressure of competing with Mumbai City FC for the League Shield as they take on Bengaluru FC in a must-win Indian Super League (ISL) clash at the Sree Kanteerava stadium in Bengaluru. 

The Mariners trail the Islanders by five points and need to beat the Blues to have a chance of leapfrogging them with a win when the two sides meet in the final match of the league stage on Monday. 

Cascallana though believes the task remains the same for his side who need to keep winning. 

“The pressure is the same. Three days ago, we spoke about how we needed to win three more games. We won in Delhi. Now we’ll play against Bengaluru and then we’ll play Mumbai,” he said during the pre-match press conference. 

“The pressure is always there, be it on a player or coaches. You always have pressure, but this is good pressure and not a bad one. We have to manage with this, it’s our job. We have to fight for three points against Bengaluru,” he added. 

Bengaluru FC are out of the race for the playoffs and only have pride to play for against Mohun Bagan Super Giant. However, the Spanish assistant isn’t sure if it will make their task easier or harder.

“You never know. They don’t have to fight for the playoff spot but have to fight for their pride and for their supporters to finish their season strongly. So we don’t know if they’ll be more dangerous or less dangerous,” he said. 

It doesn’t matter if they don’t have anything to play for. Our commitment is to get the three points,” he added. 

Cascallana is aware of the qualities that Gerard Zaragoza’s team face who have been really strong on home turf this season having lost just once there all season. That defeat was against Mumbai City FC and if Mohun Bagan SG are to have any chance of winning the league, they’ll need to match that result. 

“It’s going to be very difficult. They have really good players, and have a lot of international players like us. They have Nikhil Poojary, Chinglensana Singh, Suresh Singh and Sunil Chhetri," he said

"They also have very good international players like Ryan Williams, Javi Hernandez; Slavko Damjanovic played here last season. They’re going to be a very difficult team to face, but we have our weapons. We know how to attack and defend against them – now it’s time to play there and win the three points,” he added.

The Mariners will continue to be without Antonio Habas in Bengaluru who is recovering from an illness but his assistant feels the team can cope with his absence. 

“Not having the leader in the squad is always a negative thing, that’s 100% sure. But we have two options, which is to compete and continue in our way or run away,” he said. 

“We have to continue without him, he’s still a bit ill and is recovering well and fast. Hopefully, he’ll be with us soon, but the players know the plans and instructions and we’re following the exact same. He continues being the boss, all the instructions are from him and I’m only transmitting them,” he added.