Calcutta: Karim Bencharifa feels Mohun Bagan are progressing in the right direction and the team would do well in the I-League.
“We almost have a new team this season. We aren’t still a well-drilled machine… Bagan are an under-construction project… We need to play more matches,” the coach said after their 2-2 draw against Peerless in the CFL.
“I’ve got mixed feelings after today’s (Wednesday) match. There were moments when the team did us proud by creating chances… There were also moments when the team put up an average show… We weren’t consistent… We need to work on the finishing,” Bencharifa said.
Bagan open their campaign in the I-League on Sunday, and the coach was positive about their chances. “We’ve got a tough schedule in the I-League… We’re not expecting any easy matches and hope to do well.”
Bencharifa said these are early days and too much shouldn’t be read into their performance after a few matches. “This season, our team is stronger. We don’t kick and run… We play to a plan. I’m looking at the positives…
“The players need time for better understanding and co-ordination. I believe we’re progressing in the right direction.”
The coach praised Zakeer Mundampara, who was enterprising on Wednesday. “Zakeer is a key player for us. He was injured and joined the team late…
“But he’s a quality performer. He needs to play more matches,” Bencharifa said.
Eric Muranda struck the equaliser and the coach expressed satisfaction. “I’m happy for Eric. This goal will give him the confidence.”
Peerless coach Dulal Biswas felt that they should have won against Mohun Bagan.
“We should have won after taking a 2-0 lead… We needed to show more patience… Perhaps the inexperience of the players did us in,” said Dulal.