The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Subrata: No guarantee for play-off place

Calcutta: Mohun Bagan coach Subrata Bhattacharya preened a bit Tuesday, after his team’s 1-0 victory over East Bengal in the return leg match of the Calcutta Football League’s Super Division. “My players played well, all the way, and despite some bad refereeing decisions (the ouster of George Ekeh), we were deserving winners,” he said, allowing himself a pat on the back.

“Basudeb’s was a fine goal, but look at my team, Gaurab Dutta, Rajib Ghosh… I’m not sure sometimes of the players we play with. No, it’s got nothing to do with revenge for the first leg, it is just a plain good win,” he said. “I still feel we can go to the play-off, though that isn’t something I am guaranteeing.”

He said it was “proper strategy” on his part that Jose Ramirez Barreto went down to defence in the latter part of the second half. “There was a gap there that needed to be filled,” he explained.

East Bengal coach Subhas Bhowmick said some strange “conspiracy” of the IFA in getting Mohammedan Sporting to the play-off has a hand in this failure.

He did not explain if Sandip Nandy’s missing of the Basudeb Mondal free-kick was also a part of that “conspiracy”. To an extent Bhowmick also blamed Nandy for the goal.

Basudeb was happy that he had again scored off a free-kick. “I was actually aiming it to Barreto. I’m happy that it went in,” said Basudeb with a Ronaldinho smile.

Barreto said he may not have felt “at home” among defenders, “but for Mohun Bagan, I will do all.”

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