Mohun Bagan coach Sanjoy Sen has openly criticised his players after his team's third consecutive draw at home against Indian Arrows in I-League on Friday. The Kolkata giants were held to a 1-1 draw by Luis Norton de Matos' boys at the Mohun Bagan ground.
Speaking about his team's performance, Sen said, "I know the fans are disappointed but a team cannot miss so many chances. The chances we missed in the last match as well as this one, one cannot justify. Shilton Paul was tested just once and he conceded a goal. You cannot blame the keeper. Players [need] to be alert during the counter-attacks. There was only one such instance and it was a goal. You cannot relax after scoring one goal. You need to score more. This draw does not have any value to us. This is much more embarrassing than a defeat."
On asked if the title race has become tougher, the Bagan coach said, "The title race has become difficult but if we consider our current position we have 10 points from six matches. We are making our job difficult. If we do not come back from here, things will get tougher. Three draws at home is more embarrassing than a defeat."
Mohun Bagan skipper and star player Sony Norde was ruled out of this clash due to a knee injury. The Haitian star's absence was felt heavily during the match. On asked if the coach missed a leader like Norde, Sanjoy Sen replied, "We missed a leader in our team. We had so many experienced players and I expected them to step up. We lacked a genuine leader today."
Luis Norton de Matos, on the other hand, was proud of his boys' performance against a team like Mohun Bagan. "If we had 11 players on the field we could have fought for a win. It was an even game overall. Mohun Bagan got few chances to score. Even after conceding a goal from a penalty, the team reacted positively. The experience comes slowly in this team. But they reacted well, showed character. 1-1 was a good result at halftime but after the red card, things got complicated. We defended well and I am glad that we never lost concentration and I am happy with a point, said the Portuguese coach.
The Mohun Bagan fans displayed a great sporting gesture by giving a standing ovation to the Indian Arrows side after the match. Overwhelmed by the local fans' gesture Matos remarked, "In my entire career I have never seen this kind of demonstration of passion for football. I was really emotional when the crowd cheered for our boys. Thank you very much, Kolkata."
On asked if Matos considers Mohun Bagan as a title contender, the coach said, "I think three, four teams are very good. They have good foreign players. One of them will definitely be Mohun Bagan. East Bengal are good as well along with Minerva. All games are different. Mohun Bagan, of course, are a very good side. They have a player like Sony Norde who can alone decide the fate of a game."