The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Win, any which way: Bhowmick

Calcutta: Two wins from two games, but the East Bengal fans aren’t happy. They want ‘beautiful soccer’ from Subhas Bhowmick’s team, but the coach is in no mood to satisfy that demand.

On the eve of their third National Football League match against JCT, the coach said that three points are all that matters. “There’s no point playing attractive football if you can’t win. I’ll go according to the situation and try to ensure full points,” Bhowmick said at the end of practice at the East Bengal ground Tuesday.

However, the coach wants to take his lessons from the last game against Mahindra United. “In that match, the defenders were coming too close to each other. I’ll have to see to it that it doesn’t happen here again,” Bhowmick added. He also seemed worried at the number of mispasses that they are playing. “I’ll ask them to hold the ball a bit more.”

Bhowmick also sounded extremely respectful about the opposition. “Jo Paul Ancheri, to my mind, if the best central midfielder of the country. So, it’s imperative that we keep an eye on him.”

Another player, who might just be a bit of a bother for the East Bengal coach, is veteran war-horse I.M. Vijayan. There’s always a mystery factor about him, and Bhowmick also revealed that concern. “He’s such a great player, it’s impossible to predict what he’ll do. May be, he himself doesn’t know what is in store,” the coach pointed out.

It can be noted that both the players were with East Bengal last season and it was the club’s lack of interest about retaining Vijayan that led to their shift to JCT.

The coach also pointed out that he’ll stick to the 3-5-2 formation. However, Gilmer, their new Brazilian recruit, couldn’t be signed Tuesday either because the necessary papers haven’t come as yet. But that isn’t too much of a worry for the coach, especially with the quality of the reserve bench that he has at his disposal.

On the other hand, JCT coach Sukhwinder Singh is a worried man. He was expecting the International Transfer Certificate of his Ghanaian recruits Mansuru Mohammed and K. Yeboah to arrive, but that didn’t happen. “That’ll leave us a bit weak,” Sukhwinder said. “So, the only foreigner available to us is Musah Aliu.”

However, the fitness of the tried and tested duo of Vijayan and Ancheri has relieved the coach. “They are free of any injuries and haven’t done badly. Though Vijayan has aged a bit, he looks quite agile,” he added.


East Bengal (likely): Sandip Nandy; Douglas De Silva, Arun Malhotra, Deepak Mondal; Subhashish Roy Chowdhury, Suley Musah, Chandan Das, S. Venkatesh, Anit Ghosh; Alvito D’Cunha, Mike Okoro

JCT (likely): Arvind Kumar, Jagjit Dhawa, Musah Aliu, Saranjit Singh (Harpreet Singh), Daljit Singh, Jaswinder Singh; Jo Paul Ancheri, Hardeep Saini, Jaspreet Singh, Harvinder Singh; Hardeep Gill, I. M. Vijayan.

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