I-League: Mohun Bagan aim to return to winnings ways (Preview)
Kolkata, March 7 (IANS) Mohun Bagan will look to plugging their defensive holes and get back to winning ways when they take on last placed Mumbai FC in an I-League encounter at the Rabindra Sarovar Stadium here on Wednesday.
Bagan saw their nine-game unbeaten spree halted in Goa when Churchill Brothers turned the tables on them in a come-from-behind 2-1 win on March 4.
It were central defender Eduardo Ferreira’s mistakes at the back that came to the forefront as Bagan failed to bridge the gap on East Bengal who are on 27 points to Bagan’s 21.
Though Sanjoy Sen’s charges have two games in hand, the coach who won the I-League previously with Bagan felt this game is vital for them to recover from the setback.
“We conceded child-like goals in the last game. We have to pay for our mistakes if we keep leaking such poor goals. This is a match where we need to turn around,” Sen told reporters on the eve of the tie.
For Bagan, striker Darryl Duffy is likely to miss the game with a groin injury.
Sen opined that Mumbai, who have only won two of the 12 games they have played so far, might look to play for a draw and his team needs to be ready to counter that.
“I have seen Mumbai’s style and they might play for a point tomorrow. We will work accordingly. We cannot concede goals. Our lack of communication in the backline is a cause for worry. We need to rectify that. I have pointed it out categorically to my players,” the former United Sports Club tactician said.
Mumbai will go into the tie without Brazilian recruit Alex Willian who is down with a groin problem.
“Mohun Bagan are a well balanced team. They are playing perfect football and getting good results. We will try our best,” Mumbai coach Santosh Kashyap said.
Asked about playing for a stalemate on Wednesday, Kashyap said that he always goes for the win.
“I never go for one point. We hit the post twice and could have won in the first half (in first meeting in Mumbai where it was 0-0),” the former Mohun Bagan coach said.
Kashyap cited lack of preparation time as the reason for his team’s poor showing this season.
“We coudn’t get time to build the team. We got three days before the first match as most players came from ISL (Indian Super League). We won the first two matches but I knew in long run it would be tough,” he said.
Meanwhile, Mohun Bagan finance secretary Debasis Dutta informed that the second leg of the Kolkata derby against arch-rivals East Bengal cannot be organised at the Rabindra Sarovar Stadium due to security issues and Siliguri will once again host the marquee tie.
“We tried very hard but could not get permission (for Rabindra Sarovar Stadium). We had two options in Cuttack and Siliguri. In Cuttack, there was an ODI held recently (between India and England) so the ground is not ready. Therefore, Siliguri is our only option,” he said.
Tickets for the derby will be sold from April 3. The derby is scheduled for April 9.