I-League: “If you miss sitters you have no right to win”, glowered Mohun Bagan coach Sanjoy Sen.
Mohun Bagan fans might have widened their smiles when they saw the trio of Sony Norde, Ansumana Kromah and Dipanda Dicka on the turf against Neroca FC, the I-League greenhorns. Sadly, all of their star power could not translate into discernible action as MB failed to find a goal in a match that ended in a draw. To compound the sadness was the ungainly sight of their talismanic striker and the team captain being stretchered off the field.
So, when the MB coach, Sanjoy Sen made a delayed entry into his post-match media interaction, it was only natural that he would be bombarded by concerns about Sony.
Talking about the specifics of the injury he said,“ That the doctors can tell. I am not in a position to comment on it immediately. I always try to remain cautious. Yesterday everyone one was eager to know whether Sony would be in the start list. Now you all can see for yourself what happens to a player who plays with an existing injury – this is like a veritable example.
But then I cannot comment on the level of the injury. Of course, he will be sent to the doctor to be examined and we will eventually come to know about the injury status in a day or two.”
But why did Sen field Sony knowing fully well that he was indisposed? Was he at fault more so because the team doctor had maintained all throughout yesterday that it is the coach’s call?
“I do not know who had said what but it was our decision. When the team captain, Sony, himself calls in the morning and tells me that he can play; he of course has to be accorded the respect and the trust. And it also has to be thought if the injury aggravates further as I was worried about it. Now it depends on what the doctor is going to say, how much time it will take to recuperate”, clarified the coach.
Even then could Sony not have been benched earlier? We all saw him stopping now and then during his play-time throughout the match. Sen was rueful about the situation as he went on to explain that, “We were monitoring him closely throughout the match. We reminded him about it during the half-time and even after that we were always trying to take a feedback from him whether he is OK to continue or not – in fact we did that both from him and Kromah.
We were just about wondering whether to pull him out – just like in the Barasat game, we were thinking of subbing him and he attempted a shot from the inside and then you all know .....so that’s why I keep on telling about this niggles, nobody can predict where and how they can appear, all might seem well but it can worsen just like that.”
Nobody could also foretell this result from the seasoned mariners against the newcomers. Sen was particularly scathing about his team’s performance. He hollered, “If you miss one-is-to-one sitters, you have no right to win. Chances are hardly created in tough matches. We missed 4 one-versus-one situation and it is a crime. You have been signed for scoring goals – one can be off for one or two matches – we had opened chances, showed domination but couldn’t finish.”
He still thought this match to be better than the last encounter against Lajong. “Lajong match was even worse compared to this – we at least created more openings – but the team suffered due to poor finish. Along with definitive resolution, their midfield also let them down. For the team to gel we need consistence. We are suffering because of this inconsistency - it is the hard truth,” acknowledged Sen.
So now MB have nine points from five matches? Are they out of the reckoning?
Sen was emphatic when he denied, “No never we have so far wasted six points. The league is a long one and so we have to put in a concerted effort in the away matches. There are two more home matches left to play on 29th and 2nd – our target is to win them, that is always the target anyway. Also what I have missed in the previous season – we had won more home matches, but not so much of the away ones, this season we have to get those away points. We have to be desperate to win the championship. And I never believe that a draw will take us back.”
Knowing the same might return a faint smile on the lips of the green-maroon faithful.