Mohun Bagan were in desperate need for points and their players stuck to the plan of coach Karim Bencherifa which helped them beat Sporting Clube de Goa 3-1 in Goa.
The victory took them to eighth position with 24 points from 21 matches. Bencherifa acknowledged that his were under a lot of pressure going into the tie and was glad that his players did a commendable job.
“Yes, we had our back to the wall for quite some time. We didn’t win and it was very important as we were under tremendous pressure. Ironically we were in the same position as Sporting, they were up in the table but we were down, but in the same situation when it comes to consistency in the last few games.
“Sporting were also under pressure and wanted to come back to get good results. That’s why in this game there was a lot of tension. I said before the game if I have a choice laying beautiful football and loosing the match or getting three points despite not playing well, I would definitely get the three points. I thought there were some good moments in the game for us. We played some good moves and the most important are those three points,” said the 46-year old.
Katsumi Yusa was the star of the game for Bagan as he set-up two of the three goals scored by them. He was an attacking threat all evening as Sporting struggled to contain him.
“I knew Sporting like to use the flanks, we know they know they commit with the side backs also. I sensed a little bit of weakness in that side, and that’s why we played Katsumi on the left also because we had Bikramjit (Singh) and Zakeer (Mundampara) both are central midfielders and they can’t play in any other place except the central position,” he said.
Should Bagan win the rest of the three matches, they could end in the top half of the table.
“This league is very crazy, if you look at it we are 24 points, Pune is on 30 with the difference of just six points and Pune are fighting the title. So if things go well for us we can even climb and finish in more respectable position,” he mentioned.
Bencherifa highlighted that his side didn’t recruit in the January transfer along with East Bengal, who in his opinion, didn’t need to.
“If you see, Sporting are a team that use a lot of youngsters, but nobody uses more youngsters than Mohun Bagan. Add to that we are the only team that didn’t recruit anybody in the January transfer window though we had weaknesses. East Bengal doesn’t need that because they are a big squad and that’s why we end up with these youngsters. Despite all their difficulties the boys are really trying hard and I am very proud of them.
Also I’m really happy that Odafa (Okolie) is scoring so I think it’s okay. Unfortunately it is almost the end of the league.”
With the season coming to a close by the end of the next month, Bencherifa was questioned on Bagan’s plans to buy in the summer transfer window.
“My contract is over in April so till now I didn’t discuss with the club about next season. But it’s ok for me as the priority at the moment is we have three games. I discussed with the players that we don’t deserve this position and that we deserve a more respectable position.”
How do you stay up with football when on the move? With http://m.goal.com –your best source for mobile coverage of the beautiful game.