'Win a huge morale boost for us' - Mohun Bagan's Tolgay Ozbey

The Australian who made a controversial switch from East Bengal to the Mariners was on the scoresheet against ONGC as the Kolkata side returned to winning ways...
Mohun Bagan fans can heave a sigh of relief as the Mariners got their renaissance up and running thanks to a comprehensive 3-1 win Santosh Kashyap's ONGC FC. Boosted by the return of their star striker Odafa Okolie from a three-match ban, Bagan put up a good show that should give them some much needed momentum after some disappointing results against Salgaocar FC, United Sikkim and Prayag United.

Goals from Tolgay Ozbey, Odafa and Jewel Raja ensured that the Mariners go into their next game high on confidence. Bagan face East Bengal next week in the return leg of the Kolkata Derby, the first of which, was abandoned under controversial circumstances.

"This win should be a huge morale boost for us. I hope things work out smoothly for us from here. I don't know whether we can call this a dress rehearsal for the East Bengal game but we are happy to log full points," said Tolgay to The Times of India. "Personally, I am happy to score in two consecutive games. It is also a pleasure to be playing with (Okolie) Odafa," added the former East Bengal man.

Tolgay was happy that he and his strike partner Odafa were developing a good understanding and hoped for more goals in the future.

Odafa meanwhile was pleased with his performance after playing his first league outing since his return from a three-match ban slapped on him for aggressive behaviour towards the referee in the first leg of the Kolkata Derby on December 9, 2012.

"It was a very important win ahead of the Derby against East Bengal on February 9. I played well, but the credit should go to the entire team for the win," Odafa told The Telegraph.

The Nigerian goal-poacher said the win was a result of hard work. "The coach worked really hard with us for the last few months. The onus was on the players to execute the plans. I’m glad that the players could live up to the expectations today," praised the former Churchill Brothers man. 

Odafa will be in action next week against rivals East Bengal, against whom he was sent off in the first leg in December.

"I just want to look at the East Bengal match as a game from where we have to pick up full points," said the Nigerian to the The Times of India.

Coach Karim Bencherifa was obviously a happy man after picking up a long due three points.

"The win gives us breathing space. There was enormous pressure on the players. It will give them the much-needed confidence which is needed to prepare for the Derby," Bencharifa signed off.

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