Mumbai City FC returns to the Salt Lake Stadium to face Mohun Bagan Super Giant in the Indian Super League (ISL) 2023-24 final on Saturday, looking to avenge its 1-2 loss in the last game of the league stage, conceding the ISL Shield to the opponent by one point.

“Everyone at the club was a little hurt emotionally, but now we know how to approach the final and we are practising accordingly,” MCFC defender, Mehtab Singh told Sportstar.

Mehtab played his early football in Kolkata since he was part of the East Bengal academy growing up and hence MBSG has always been a rival club for the 25-year-old. 

“MBSG fans have always been against me since my early days so it gives me extra motivation to play against a club with such a huge fan following. It will be great for us as well if we perform well and win under that pressure,” Mehtab said about his experience playing against MBSG. 

Although this is a final, unfortunately for the Islanders, the match is going to be played in front of thousands of MBSG fans at its home fortress and according to Mehtab it will play a significant role in how the match is played out. 

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“Mohun Bagan has a big advantage but it is upon us to handle the pressure well and choose the right approach for the final,” Mehtab explained. 

MCFC only needed a draw to defend its Shield but the Mariners scored an early goal in the 10th minute and took charge of the game from the get-go. This has been a trait of the Mariners as out of the 50 goals they scored so far this season, 25 have been netted in the first half, which is the most by any team this season.

When asked if MCFC has set out separate plans to deal with MBSG’s attacking threat, Mehtab replied, “Us defenders have talked about this separately. We know our individual duties and if we stick to it, we know our attackers will do their jobs up front.”

“The time for learning from our mistakes is over and now it’s time to act on them,” Mehtab concluded as his side gears up for the ISL final which is to be played on May 4.