Khalid Jamil: I really don’t like facing Shillong Lajong

The former India international feels that his side have kicked themselves in the foot with the losses they have had to endure but promises to put up a strong come-back
Khalid Jamil, the Mumbai FC coach, let loose his frustration at his squad’s inability to garner a home win after losing 2-3 to away side Shillong Lajong FC on Wednesday.

Taisuke Matsugae scored the opener and Cornell Glen added two goals in the second half, as Lajong ripped through Mumbai after the first half ended in a deadlock. Sandjar Ahmadi and Ritesh Perambra scored for the home side.

Jamil made it clear that performances have to improve or the team risked self-implosion.

“Mistakes,” he stressed on the word. “We made the same mistakes as we did last time. We conceded the first goal very early on in the first half. The same thing occurred in the second half as well. We didn’t start well enough and that was it. The rest of the events in the match like a card and other such events had an effect as well. I think we didn’t start as well as we should have.”

On being questioned on the legitimacy of Haroon Amiri’s red card, due to his part in an onfield brawl with Minchol Son of Lajong, Jamil treaded the neutral line and explained, “We can’t retrospect on such things as it’s pointless on mere detail after the event has taken place. We lost everything. So it is better not to talk [about the red card]. It’s better to keep shut as one thing often leads to another and a mess ensues. So he got the red and that’s where we’ll leave it.

“We can’t say anything on disciplinary action against him either. The linesman was so far away, you’ll see in the cameras. It was wrong of Amiri to react, but he’s human too. He got a red card, but the other player (Minchol Son) instigated the fight. Amiri has a deep gash on his throat, so he reacted in the heat of the moment. Only when Haroon reacted did the referee see the fight. We have proof of the other player’s action.”

He promised to stricture Anwar Ali and makes sure his performances live up to the mark henceforth. “The two goals we conceded just useless. But the others like [Jayesh] Rane and all played very well,” said Jamil.

“Amiri was ill too. He didn’t feel good in the last match and he wasn’t up to full fitness in the last match as well. He had fever, so I didn’t include him in the starting eleven,” he added on being quizzed about Amiri’s condition.

The  Mumbai FC coach's take on his attack was pure belief that he add all that he had wanted while claiming that his side does not miss the presence of Ghanian striker Yusif Yakubu.

“We aren’t missing anyone. We are creating lots of chances. We will calibrate on whether we need to add anyone to this squad, but I’m happy with what I have. I don’t think we’ll need to take [Yusif] Yakubu. We have to make ends meet with what we have. I don’t think even he’ll add anything special.

“Our twin defeats have given us a great setback in our conquest to ensure we get a top four finish. We can’t quite come to grips with what we want and what we can achieve. We are making continuous mistakes. If we rectify one mistake, we go on to make another mistake. This keeps happening in football, all we can do is gear up for the next match. That is the best.”

Questioned on how tough a side Lajong were to mitigate, “You see, Lajong are one of those sides that are so effective in irritating you to the highest degree. They trouble you at home and away from home. Their tactics are sometimes indiscernible, as they might even concede with ten men on the pitch. Their matches aren’t telecasted much either, so it’s fair to say they are a headache team. I really don’t like facing Shillong Lajong all that much.”

Mumbai FC host Mohun Bagan on Saturday, 26 October, as Jamil concluded, “Look, the most important thing is to sit back tomorrow and reflect on what we can do differently to patch up the mistakes against Mohun Bagan. First we have to look at Amiri and then we’ll make a final call on Yakubu.”

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