I-League: Mohun Bagan aim to start afresh under new coach against Aizawl

File Photo : Shankarlal Chakraborty
IANS|06-Jan-2018 17:53

Kolkata, Jan 6 : Days after head coach Sanjoy Sen stepped down from his post following the spate underwhelming results, city football giants Mohun Bagan will hope successor Shankarlal Chakraborty can deliver the goods when they take on holders Aizawl FC in an I-League tie here on Sunday.

At the Vivekananda Yuvabharati Krirangan, Chakraborty will try and help the hosts get over a four-game winless run ending with a 1-2 defeat to Chennai City FC -- their first in over three seasons in a I-League home game.

"We have to overcome the tough situation with hard work. If I don't take this challenge now at this age, then I might not be able to forever. Tomorrow's match is about making Mohun Bagan return to winning ways. There will be some changes. Everyone will get to see tomorrow. I cannot say much now," he said in his first ever pre-match press conference as the Bagan boss.

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"My playing career was not so long. It ended not long after it started. When I was nineteen or twenty years old that time, there was an exuberance that was present. I felt that if I punched a brick wall, it will crack; now if I think of doing the same, I feel my hand will break so that is the difference," he added. 

Chakraborty, who was elevated from assistant coach's role, praised the opposition as well. 

"The team that won the I-League last year, the head coach Khalid Jamil and most players have left. But, it does not look like they have started from the scratch. I believe this team is even stronger than last years. So it will be tough for us."

Languishing in the fifth spot, Mohun Bagan have ten points in their kitty -- the same as Aizawl FC, but have played an extra two games as the Mizoram-based club play only their sixth game of the season on Sunday.

The Green and Maroons have won all their games at home against Aizawl FC in all competitions and never have scored less than three goals in each match. However, with Sony Norde sidelined and Aser Dipanda Dicka and Ansumana Kromah out of form, that run seems unlikely to continue. 

For the title-holders, they will be looking to keep their winning streak intact as they have recovered well after losing 1-0 at home to Shillong Lajong by picking up two back-to-back victories. 

They return to the venue where they started their season with a 2-2 draw with current league leaders East Bengal and will be looking for a win or a repeat of the same against their city rivals.

It will be interesting to see what kind of revenge the Mariners serve up after they lost the corresponding fixture in Aizawl last season, which signalled the end of title-hopes for the Kolkata club.