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The Moroccan coach is still on the hunt for a fourth foreign player in order to strengthen the attack…

Karim Bencherifa, the coach of Mohun Bagan, was confident that his team will bounce back strongly despite having had to endure the pressure of avoiding relegation last term. It must be noted that the last time the Green and Maroon won a trophy was under his tutelage in his first stint with the club.

"Despite all the difficulties to get the best squad possible, the next season will be a very important one. The club, the fans and I want to win something for all of us to cheer for; so that will be the ultimate target. But we should not forget what we achieved last season starting from 0 point in the middle of the season is commendable,” Bencherifa told Goal.

With the Kolkata clubs, in particular, facing a cash crunch, not every team has been able to recruit their prime targets. Rakesh Masih, Tolgay Ozbey and Arindam Bhattacharya are some of the notable names to have left the Kolkata giants. However, a number of promising players have been roped in for the next season. The list includes players like Wahid Sali and Adil Khan.

"All of them are good players who have proved themselves and that’s the reason we have recruited them. They will add quality and depth to the squad,” he remarked.

Having retained Odafa Okolie and Anieche Ichezona from last season, Bagan are in the hunt of a fourth foreign player to bolster their attack after having signed Katsumi from ONGC already. A number of names are doing the rounds with Edward Wilson Junior of Indonesia’s Semen Padang FC being the most talked about.

However, Bencharifa stressed that they are in no hurry to sign another overseas player. “We are still looking for the right foreign player to add strength to the existing team especially in the attacking part.”

The pre-season trainings will start from the 15th of this month, though Bencherifa will be joining the team only on the 28th. “I will be in Kolkata on July 28th but the pre-season will start on July 15th. I have already prepared the schedule for this period which will be executed by the supporting staff.”

He also acknowledged the fans for their full-hearted support for the team in the hard times and hoped that they shall continue the same.

“We are one of the luckiest clubs in India looking at our fan base and the way they support the team. They know that our objective is common and I wish they give unconditional support to achieve the set targets.”

The former Salgaocar FC coach is attending the Pro-license coaching course in Mumbai. He explained the importance of participating in such discourses which helps update knowledge.

“The course is conducted by 2 eminent instructors (Robert Baan and Wim Koevermans) with huge international experience at the top level. The list of the participants includes many top foreign and Indian coaches. So it will be definitely an environment of learning, sharing and updating our knowledge. The other objective is to comply with future AFC regulations.”

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