Mohun Bagan are set to meet Neroca FC at the Salt Lake Stadium in an I-League 2017 clash on Tuesday. In their previous encounter at that venue, they had a harrowing last twenty minutes against Lajong FC. The game resulted in a draw because of some silly mistakes by the green-and-maroon brigade. It can only be hoped that they will amend their wayward ways against the I-League debutants, Neroca.
Speaking about his team’s Achilles heel, Sanjoy Sen, the coach of Mohun Bagan said on Monday, “We are specially working on negotiating the set-pieces – the corners and the free-kicks -- as we have been looking quite vulnerable in those situations.”
While speaking in general about his opponents, he mentioned, “Neroca are a good team. I have seen their last match and they are good."
Brushing off the last result yet being cautious at the same time, he emphasized, “We are not thinking about the last result which ended in a draw. But we are aware of the mistakes we made as a team in the last match.
"We saw a red card and had a penalty against us – we have rectified the mistakes of the Lajong FC encounter. Some things are not in our control but we will try to stop making those silly mistakes we made in our last game and not drop those points unnecessarily," he promised.
With two of his big guns uncertain, questions were obviously raised about them. “I am not saying anything concrete now regarding Sony and Kromah. One or both of them may very well get on the start list in tomorrow’s game," he said.
"We will be taking a close look at both of them in the practice session to follow today. And we will inquire how both of them are reacting tomorrow morning. We will then take the final decision of featuring one or both of them in the first XI. All I can say is that both of them will be in the squad list for tomorrow’s game," he explained.
One cannot deny that the Mohun Bagan defence was a big let down in the last game. And with Kingston out with a red card, the back line will be all the more weak. More so, because the probable sub, Rana Gharami did not look confident on the field when he came in towards the end.
Allaying doubts, Sanjoy said, “It is not right to say that Rana was not looking very dependable at the back. He was only on the pitch for 15-20 minutes and that too, the situation he came in was a very critical state. The team had conceded a goal and had to relinquish the lead. The team was also down to 10 men due to a red card. If he did seem shaky, he should not be judged for that. If he gets a fresh start and plays a full game, you can see that he is a good and strong player.”
As for the other defender and the captain of the team, Kingshuk Debnath, Sanjoy clarified that, “Kingshuk is repentant of what he has done in the last game. He is a thorough professional player and has fully realized that on his own.” Incidentally defender Arijit Bagui may also get a place in tomorrow’s match.
All said, Mohun Bagan will be looking at nothing short of three points provided they do not give in to a repeat brain-freeze!