The Indian coach of the Kolkata outfit admitted that it was a mistake to play for a point and instead should have targeted a win…
Mohammedan Sporting’s woeful form in the I-League continued as they succumbed to a 3-1 defeat at the hands of East Bengal.
The Black and Whites are at the bottom of the table with 18 points from 21 matches and have another three matches to go in their bid to save themselves.
“It will not be correct to say that we will get relegated, but the fight to avoid the drop will be very hard. But as the adage goes, one should not give up till the last whistle. We will not give up,” said coach Sanjoy Sen.
He was candid enough to admit his fault in asking his defenders to not play for an offside trap.
“It's a very disappointing performance from us. A team plays the game to create chances and we had created 3 chances today. So, it's very disappointing to lose in such a manner. The team made childish mistakes and maybe I am responsible for that. I had not made them alert that there is no need to do an offside trap and that's why maybe they went for it (during the third goal).”
Chidi Edeh scored the third goal for East Bengal after Ryuji Sueoka, who was in an offside position stopped his run and let the onrushing Nigerian slot the ball home with the Mohammedan defenders hoping for the linesman to show the offside flag.
“When we were 2-1 down we were trying hard and had a chance to make a come-back and then that goal (scored by Chidi Edeh) was scored. I can't tell from the sidelines whether that was an offside or not, but that spoiled our chances. It looked like an offside to me, but I was not in a good position to decide about it. So, I have to watch the television replays once again to understand that.”
Mohammedan went into the game hoping to get a point instead of aiming for a win and Sen acknowledged that it was an error on his part.
“Maybe targeting one point instead of three was the mistake. From the practice sessions I had thought that it would be better not to go all out attacking and a draw should be secured. But then I may have got it wrong. I have never raised the finger to my players and will not do that today also. When the team wins, I give the players the credit, but when the team is losing, I am ready to take the burden.
“I was just telling them in the dressing-room that the way we conceded today and also three minutes after scoring against United SC, these are not signs of a good side. We have to fight till the end now. With three matches still to go, we can't say that we will be relegated. If we can bag nine points from those three matches, certainly there will be opportunities to survive,” he hoped.
Sen asked critics not to target striker Ajay Singh as the player hasn’t had enough chances.
“Speaking about Ajay Singh, he was doing good in the practice sessions after coming from an injury break and that's why I decided to give him a go. He deserved a few more chances and then only you can say whether he is good or bad.”
On being asked to speak on the title race, Sen backed Derrick Perera’s Salgaocar FC to win it.
“I think that Salgoacar have the best chance to win the league.”
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