| Bhowmick: ‘This is not the end of the league’
Calcutta: While East Bengal coach Subhas Bhowmick is experiencing a state of almost-Nirvana, his Mohun Bagan counterpart has been brushing his hide with brusque comments like “it makes no difference, there’s lot of work left yet.”
Reactions were to the latters’ 0-2 Oil PSU seventh National Football League loss at the Salt Lake Stadium Sunday. The win pushed East Bengal ahead of the field and Bhowmick says this was what gave him “peace.” For Bhattacharya, though, there was a great deal of explaining to do, a cache of soul-searching surely to follow.
“This is not the end of the league,” said Bhowmick, “we were lucky to win today and we must remember that we have a very long way to go yet. I saw a great many mistakes in the team, things I need to correct soon.”
On the off-colour Mike Okoro, he said: “Yes, Okoro needs to be sharper. We need to work with him. He can play far better than this and I’m sure he will come up to it.” And he wasn’t commenting on his new Brazilian recruit Gilmar da Silva Goncalves either.
Bhattacharya threw the ball to the Media. “You are the one who suggested the use of Marlanki Sutang. He proved a flop. What do I do'” Not exactly the reaction expected of a top flight NFL club. Okay, so what about fielding Bhaichung' Did he change the course of the match' No. Did he get more hurt in the process' Probably yes. “Look, what could I have done' Do I have anybody' I tried the young ones, and the tension of the day gave them butterfly stomachs and they melted away.”
The coach added he needs Lolendra Singh, at least, to be fit now (barely recovered from the flu). He said he needs “fit players, if I have to deliver.” He said he isn’t worried because the league “is a long one”, and that Bhaichung can rest for a while now, and that Gilmar isn’t “anywhere near Jose Ramirez Barreto.” Somebody somewhere else may have asked him to compare.
Alvito D’Cunha, meanwhile, was basking in new glory. The Man of the Match said he was dedicating the award and his goal to his teammates and “to my mom and dad.” He said he was happier that he could play well.
Of the late insertion, D’Cunha said it was a plan. “The coach and I had had a talk and the coach said he needed a fresh pair of legs later in the match when the rivals were growing weaker. The strategy clicked.”
He remembered that this was his first NFL goal with the East Bengal jersey on. A memory, surely, to keep.