Neroca coach dedicates runners-up finish to people of Manipur
Kolkata, Mar 8 (PTI) Dedicating their success to people of Manipur, Neroca FC coach Gift Raikhan said it was an incredible journey to finish their maiden I League season as runners-up.
Neroca held East Bengal to a 1-1 draw to finish behind champions Minerva Punjab FC with 32 points in their debut I-League season.
"We are happy being second. We are a new club and did not have much budget. I dedicate the success to lovely people of Manipur, the club, myself and my family. The journey has been incredible," Raikhan said at the post match news conference.
"We wanted to win the Trophy being a new team and coach. Even if I lost, I would not have any problem. I'm happy with the way the boys have responded."
Neroca FC were keeping a tab on proceedings in Panchkula where Minerva Punjab FC were leading against Churchill Brothers with a 15th minute goal.
"We knew it in the first half only. But we were here to play and win. We were expecting the fightback from East Bengal from the likes of Dudu and Mahmoud Al Amna," he said about East Bengal's equaliser in the 73rd minute.
Kolkata's big two - Mohun Bagan and East Bengal - failed to win the title but Raikhan had some words of praise for the two popular teams.
"They may not have got the trophy, but the way they are doing for the sport, they are always champions for me. I feel the expectations on them is too high, maybe that's the reason."
Raikhan is not sure whether he would continue for the next season but said they have the "homework" ready.
"We have to prepare a perfect team for the next season and take forward the good work."
On his future at the club, he said, "I will have to speak to her before making a decision. I love my wife... It's always wise to seek her advice before making a decision