I-League 2017-18: Mohun Bagan head coach Sanjoy Sen questions standard of ISL clubs
The Mariners are set to play two preseason friendlies against ISL clubs starting this weekend.
What's the story?
Preparations are in full swing for Mohun Bagan with the I-League being just around the corner. The Indian giants are currently training in Kolkata and have welcomed back the manager, Sanjoy Sen to lead the side after his cardiac bypass surgery. Sen has taken over the training at the club's training ground but has courted controversy by his views on the ISL clubs.
Mohun Bagan are set to face FC Pune City and FC Goa next week as practice games for the ISL sides as well as for the I-League club. When asked about the quality of the ISL clubs, Sen was quoted by XtraTime as saying, "Winning or losing is not a factor. Moreover, I have watched ISL and the standard of the teams playing ISL is not too high."
In case you didn't know...
Mohun Bagan recently lost out the Calcutta Football League to eternal rivals East Bengal and are desperate to make matters right in the upcoming I-League season. The Mariners are scheduled to play FC Pune City on November 6th and FC Goa on November 9th at the ISL clubs' respective grounds. The Green and Maroon brigade will leave the City of Joy on November 4th.
The heart of the matter
With the I-League set to begin in the second week of November, Mohun Bagan have been training hard to be ready for the season and manage a position better than last time around when they finished runners-up to Aizawl FC. Coach Sen has said that the team is 50% ready for the upcoming season and will be completely ready in the coming days.
His comments on the quality of the ISL sides have been completely uncalled for and have been rivalled by his star striker, Sony Norde. The Mohun Bagan captain has contradicted his manager by accepting that the ISL teams are ahead in every aspect with respect to the I-League sides.
After the two friendlies and according to the leaked I-League fixtures, Mohun Bagan and Aizawl FC will kickstart the new season at the Rajiv Gandhi Stadium in Mizoram whereas the first Kolkata derby of the season is scheduled for December 1st.
Sen's remarks on the ISL clubs might just be a mind game ahead of the two practice matches against the sides from Pune and Goa. He might not have meant the 'lack of quality' remark literally but may just be playing with the minds of the opposition.