Mohun Bagan Super Giant assistant coach Manuel Perez is solely focused on securing all three points as the Mariners prepare to face Chennaiyin FC at the Vivekananda Yuba Bharati Krirangan Stadium in Kolkata on Sunday in the Indian Super League (ISL).

With head coach Antonio Habas serving a suspension, Perez will lead the team against Chennaiyin FC. Mohun Bagan SG has been in outstanding form recently, remaining unbeaten in their last eight matches since January under Habas's guidance. They have garnered 13 points from their last five games and currently occupy the second spot on the ISL points table. A victory against Chennaiyin FC would propel them back to the top position.

On the other hand, Chennaiyin FC find themselves in the 11th position in the standings, having amassed 18 points from an equal number of games. Securing a win against Mohun Bagan SG would significantly enhance their prospects of making it to the playoffs, although it would require a considerable effort given their inconsistent form of late. Perez acknowledged the challenge posed by Chennaiyin FC and expressed his full respect for their opponents ahead of the clash.

"For us, it's the same because there were three points against Chennaiyin FC, against East Bengal FC, or against Mumbai City FC in the last match. So Chennaiyin FC now has 18 points but with a match remaining in hand. If they win the match, they will be on 21.. They are down, but they could be on top. And they will be fighting for it in the top six for sure. Chennaiyin FC is one of the biggest teams in the ISL. They have very good players. They have an experienced coach and we have absolute respect for them," he said. 

Mohun Bagan SG's last league defeat dates back to December, and they have remained undefeated throughout the current year. The team displayed an impressive run of form before the international break in March, securing victories in all three of their league games that month. However, to mount a serious challenge against league leaders Mumbai City FC for the Shield, they must maintain this momentum in the upcoming matches.

When asked how the international break will impact the team's momentum, he said: "We will see tomorrow (on Sunday), we are hoping to try and make sure that this won't affect us. This is normal. All around the world with FIFA dates. Here we have Deepak Tangri; he was in Saudi Arabia and in the Northeast with his country. Nothing is more important than playing for your country. So as the coach would say, right now you have to accept the things as they are, and this is what they are. Yesterday (Friday) was the first training with the full squad. Today will be the second, and tomorrow we will fight for the three points. That is the plan," Perez declared.

The Spaniard also spoke about the injury concerns within his team, including midfielder Sahal Abdul Samad, and shared his approach with regard to injuries for the remaining fixtures.

He stated, "We have two or three players pending (who are not fully fit). We will see today what to do with them. We have four matches remaining. This is not the final. So we have to think in the future, and not only in tomorrow's three points. So we will evaluate with the medical Staff, with the fitness coach, and with the players and we will take a decision."

Habas is giving me confidence: Deepak Tangri

During the pre-match press conference, Perez was accompanied by India international midfielder Deepak Tangri, who recently resumed training with the squad after his national team duties.

Tangri has made appearances in 12 games for the team this season, showcasing his versatility by contributing two goals. Despite missing the start of the season due to injury, the midfielder has seamlessly integrated into the starting eleven since his return and has emerged as one of the key players under Habas's leadership.

The 25-year-old expressed his joy at being entrusted with significant defensive responsibilities by Habas and emphasised the confidence that the Spaniard has placed in him throughout the ongoing season.

"Obviously. It's very important that the coach always gives you confidence. So as a player, it's very important that the coach gives you confidence, so you have to give your 100%. So for me it's very important; he's giving me importance, and every training session he wants me to improve, so I give my 100% every time," Tangri said during the pre-match press conference.

"To be honest, I don't think about that because my game style is like that. So what my coach told me to do, I did. Obviously, sometimes I have to be careful with the cards, but I keep working on that, and slowly, slowly, I am improving that," he added.

Tangri also emphasised the importance of maintaining focus while juggling commitments between national team duties and club responsibilities.

"To be honest, that's the national team part. So now it's club time. So for the club, I give my 100%. So depending on the time it has to change for a player. Obviously, it's hard thought, but it has to change depending on the situation. When I am on club duty, I have to focus on the club; when I am on national team duty, I focus on that," he signed off.