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Mohun Bagan v NEROCA

I-League 2018-19: Khalid Jamil looks forward to Kolkata derby

1:06 am AEDT 13/1/19
Khalid Jamil Mohun Bagan
Mohun Bagan have picked up crucial points against NEROCA in order to keep themselves in the top half of the table...

Mohun Bagan coach Khalid Jamil lavished praise on his players after they picked their second successive since he took charge at the club. The Mariners managed a 1-0 win, courtesy a Sony Norde strike, over NEROCA to go level on points (21) with the Manipur-based team.

"We won because the players worked very hard and the club officials also helped me. In football, getting three points is more important. Everybody contributed to the win," said the 41-year-old.

"In the first 20 minutes, Darren (Caldeira) could have hit the target but they played well. Henry (Kisekka) and (Sheikh) Faiaz changed the game in the second half. The strategy was to score early goal. I told them to play their natural game. We didn't do too many changes," he added.

Bagan's next tie is against arch rivals East Bengal on the 27th of this month. Jamil hasn't won a Kolkata derby yet during his stint with the Red and Gold brigade and will be keen to set the record straight this time around.

"Let's see what happens in the next match," was Jamil's response.

Meanwhile, NEROCA head coach Manuel Fraile felt hard done by the result but was proud of his boys' performance.

"We deserved a point. They (Mohun Bagan) are a big club. They created chances and also kept the ball. They also have good players. I'm proud of my boys. I'm happy and sad because we fought but we should have got one point. We must wake up and prepare for the next match," he said.

Despite the defeat, the Spaniard still sees his team very much in the mix for the title.

"We still have the points. There are four or five teams who are fighting to win the championship. It's good for us because we know teams like Mohun Bagan will be on your back. You have to work hard. We need to rectify our mistakes," he admitted.