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‘Credit to all the players’

Calcutta: Shillong Lajong FC had targeted a top-seven finish at the start of the I-League. With 32 points from 22 matches, Thangboi Singto’s men are now eyeing a top-five finish.

“This is the best points tally recorded by Lajong… Never have we recorded 32 points and there’s still two more matches remaining,” said Singto.

“We are happy with the performance but there’s still a long way to go,” said the coach, who has done wonders with the team in his first full-time stint.

“The maximum credit should go to all the players… They haven’t just battled the heat, there have been other factors too… I won’t specify though.

“However, I feel the refereeing has to be much better. We need better decisions from the match officials,” he remarked.

Singto blamed “abysmal defending” from both teams for the nine goals let in by both teams.

For Mohammedan Sporting, the defeat once again worsens their situation, which did look brighter after the 2-1 victory over Rangdajied United FC (RUFC) the other day. Coach Sanjay Sen did admit that Mohammedan Sporting's fate and chances of saving relegation rely to a good extent on the results of other matches.

“It’s very difficult. We’ve got to look up to other teams now. Our fate will depend on the ifs and buts.

“Obviously, we have to win our last game (against Mumbai FC on April 27). It’s a must-win game, no doubt about that. But a victory alone does not guarantee avoiding the drop. We have to depend on the results of other matches,” a worried Sen said.

He didn’t mince words while talking about the performance his men put up. “A team that concedes as many as five goals in a match cannot expect to win it. Our defence played badly today… No excuses,” he made it clear.

When asked why he again didn’t include Syed Rahim Nabi in the side, Sen retorted: “Nabi hasn’t been performing well lately. That’s why he wasn’t selected… Simple…”