I-League: Aizawl FC’s Santosh Kashyap - Paulo Meneses tried his best but expectations are high at the club

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The former Mumbai FC coach promised to play an attacking brand of football when they take on Minerva Punjab…

The mood in the Aizawl FC camp is that of relief as they notched their first win in nine matches in all competitions when they defeated Indian Arrows 3-0 on February 23rd. They now travel north t face title contenders Minerva Punjab FC on Monday afternoon.

In the three matches under Kashyap, the reigning champions have notched up four points from a possible nine. The former Salgaocar FC coach believes that injuries have had a huge role in derailing the season of the northeastern side.

“I think most of the players from last season left the club. There was a new coach and a new squad.  He (Paulo Menezes) tried his best but again expectations are high as defending champions.  They started well I think but eventually injuries took a toll. Aizawl scored and then conceded goals later in the games. When I took over the team, there were many injuries and lot of mistakes made in defending, attacking and the transition. So I had to make quick changes. I had to mould four sessions into a single one,” explained Kashyap.

“We almost got the positive result in my first match (against Arrows away) itself. Finally we got a 3-0 win over Indian Arrows. So now we are here and in every moment we are improving. Our eight-to-ten first team players are out and  so I am taking all my youngsters. We will play attacking football,” he mentioned.

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Moinuddin Khan Wangkhem Khogen Minerva Punjab FC Mohun Bagan I-League 2017/2018

Meanwhile, Minerva Punjab’s coach Khogen Singh wants his team to return to winning ways after they suffered a dip in form with back-to-back defeats at the hands of East Bengal and Gokulam Kerala.

“Tomorrow (Monday) it will be a very good game. Aizawl’s morale is high because they have won the last match against Indian Arrows and we also lost the away match against them by 2-1. Now after defeat by the hands of Gokulam, we have to win this match in order to go for the title. We have to take three points. There is no pressure on us but we don’t want to lose the game,” he said.