Calcutta, July 5: Bhaichung Bhutia scored in a derby for the first time Saturday since his hattrick against Mohun Bagan in 1997 in the Federation Cup semi-final. However, he felt that the brace he scored today could so easily have been for Bagan.
“I had a horrible last season, continuously struggling with injuries. But I wanted to make it up this season for Mohun Bagan,” the striker said.
He informed that he had called up Mohun Bagan secretary Anjan Mitra and president Swapan Sadhan Bose a number of times before taking the final decision to switch to East Bengal. “But they were not even bothered to answer my calls. That made me feel that I’m totally unwanted,” Bhutia added. “Now I’m close to my best, and everyone knows what I can do when I’m playing well,” he said.
He also gave a lot of credit to their physio Kevin Jackson for the success. “He has worked very hard with us. The pre-season training has been fabulous and we’re reaping the harvest now,” he said.
ASEAN Cup squad
East Bengal shortlisted their ASEAN Club Cup 18-man squad Saturday. Two more names may be added later. They leave Tuesday.
Sangram Mukherjee, Sandip Nandy, Dipak Mondal, Suley Musah, M. Suresh, Mahesh Gawli, Douglas da Dilva, Surkumar Singh, S. Malsawmtluanga, Subhas Chakraborty, Chandan Das, Debjit Ghosh, Shasthi Duley, Dipankar Roy, Alvito D’Cunha, Mike Okoro, Bijen Singh, Bhaichung Bhutia