Karim Bencherifa: Bagan mustn’t get distracted with talks of reaching the semis and final

The Moroccan coach was pleased with the win over Lajong and is focused on the task ahead against Salgaocar FC…

Mohun Bagan turned on style as they romped to a 6-0 win over Shillong Lajong and are placed on top of the group C in the Federation Cup.

Going into the final round of fixtures, the Mariners only need a draw to make it into the final four of the competition.

“We were looking only to win the game first, getting three three points and see what happens. The Federation Cup is a very clear tournament. There are no calculations that you can do. You have to win your matches.

“We are going match by match. We are not thinking of the cup, we are not thinking of the semis, we are thinking of the next game and we should shift our focus to Salgaocar game next,” he said.

Bencherifa’s side edged past Mumbai FC 1-0 in a game where the opposition too had their chances but failed to capitalize. However against the north eastern outfit, it was Bagan all throughout as they never allowed Thangboi Singto’s side any chance whatsoever.

“I'm very happy with the performance of the team. I think it was a professional performance by the boys and I am happy to see so many youngsters doing well and getting on the score sheet.

“Of course, we could score more goals, but a lot of people will think that the game was easy. The game wasn't easy. Lajong are still are very good team, but I think the credit should go to Mohun Bagan because we didn't allow them space to allow them to play their counter attacking game. I'm very happy with the commitment of the boys.”

Striker Odafa Okolie returned to the line-up and scored a gem of a goal through a bicycle kick in the 77th minute.

“It's a good goal and football is about that. It's about goals. That's what the fans like, although there are not many fans in the stadium. We know that our fans are watching us on television and we dedicate every good moment to them because they are behind the team.

“There are some of them (fans) who have traveled from Calcutta (Kolkata) to Kochi to support the team. So I'm grateful to them.”

On being asked whether the Kolkata outfit could go all the way as they look like the most in-form side, Bencherifa said, “Let’s see. We hope so. Yes, we are scoring goals and we are creating chances. We are defending well, as we kept two clean sheets. These are good signs, but we have to keep our focus - don't get distracted with the talk of the final or semifinal.”

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