The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Bagan captain worried over deep defence

Calcutta: While Mohun Bagan coach Aloke Mukherjee feels the Super Division loss to East Bengal was nothing more than a bad day in office, captain Rennedy Singh opined that it was “really tough” for his team to make a comeback.

Mohun Bagan went down 0-3 to East Bengal Saturday, one of the most humiliating losses for the green-and-maroon brigade in recent past.

Taking a day off Sunday, Aloke said: “Our aim is to qualify for the Super Six and do well in the Federation Cup.”

But Rennedy made no bones about the fact they would find it tough to get back on course after the “demoralising” defeat. “We’re next up against Calcutta Port Trust Tuesday, and it won’t be easy,” the captain warned. He also pointed out that the defensive co-ordination has to improve.

“(Debkumar) Sasmol is playing really well. But we desperately need someone who can give him company.” He lamented that there aren’t “too many good defenders left in the country”.

“In fact, all the good ones are with East Bengal. I have asked the officials to get a quality defender from abroad,” Rennedy added. “Had any one of the defenders who are donning the red-and-gold colours were there in our team, things would have been different.”

In fact, a Nigerian defender will be there for trial at the Mohun Bagan practice Monday.

The coach, meanwhile, insisted that he will continue with Marcos Pareira as a defensive midfielder. “I’ve seen him playing for Vasco in that position. I’m sure he will do a good job in future.”

Mukherjee also defended his decision to field Insan Ali instead of Harpreet Singh in Saturday’s match.

“Though Harpreet is a very good player, he’s not accustomed to playing in slushy ground conditions. Had he conceded a goal in such conditions, it might have made a dent in his confidence,” Aloke opined.

Aloke gave the example of the 17-year old Marlanki, who was suddenly fielded in a derby last season and could not make a comeback thereafter.

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