I-League 2017: Mohun Bagan coach Sanjoy Sen confident of winning back the title
Can Mohun Bagan turn their fortunes around after their recent dip in form?
What’s the story?
Mohun Bagan are in the midst of their worst form in the I-League this season. However, Mariners head coach Sanjoy Sen remain upbeat about their title hopes. Sen, who led Bagan to the title in 2014/15 had seen his team endure a similar loss of form last season which eventually resulted in the Kolkata giants finishing two points off the top.
Speaking to the press following Mohun Bagan’s draw against Bengaluru in the latest round of the I-League, Sen quipped in an interview with xtratime, “Aizawl and East Bengal should not forget that they still have to play against us. And they should better be assured that my boys will do whatever they need to do to win it”.
He further added, “My team won’t play to show off their faces but to prove their quality. They should better be ready for that.”
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Bagan are winless in their last three games in the I-League which include two draws against Mumbai FC (which they got via a late equaliser) and Bengaluru FC to go along with a stunning loss to Churchill Brothers. The string of results leave the Kolkata giants in third place on the table with 23 points from their 12 games – seven behind league-leader Aizawl FC.
However, the Mariners still have two games in hand over Aizawl and second-placed East Bengal (who are on 27 points from their 14 games).
The heart of the matter
Sen further reinstated that his team has not got the luck of the green in recent games. In the game against Bengaluru, the visitors had the most number of clear-cut chances and looked the likelier of the two sides to score even after going down to ten men for the last 25 odd minutes. It was was, in fact, only Arindam Bhattacharja’s heroics in goal for Bengaluru that kept the scoreline goalless
In addition to the keeper’s display, another point of contention came late on when the assistant referee disallowed a goal from Yusa Katsumi owing to handball. Whilst aggrieved by the decision Sen didn’t want to speak much of the situation as he feels that like last season, he might be suspended once again by the AIFF for bringing the game into disrepute.
After a goalless draw at the Sree Kanteerava Stadium on Saturday, Mohun Bagan will again square off against Bengaluru FC on the 14th of March, in the first group stage clash in the AFC Cup.
The Mariners have lost only game this season and despite the bad results of late Sanjoy Sen has reason to be optimistic about his chances as they still remain within touching distance of the leaders. Another factor that will keep the Bagan faithful still hoping of silverware is the presence of Haiti international Sony Norde. While the winger has failed to produce much this campaign, he is never one to take lightly and should he come into his own down the stretch, the title will be well within the grasp of Mohun Bagan