The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Bagan ready for home stretch limp

Calcutta: It’s after three-and-a-half years that someone called Subrata Bhattacharya won’t be shouting instructions to his boys when Mohun Bagan play a National Football League match.

In the last seven days, a lot has changed in the century-old club. While the coach’s tenure has been terminated without any prior intimation, chaos reigns in the club.

But still, there is a National League game to be played and the fate of some of the players hinge firmly on this inconsequential match versus an already-relegated ITI (and the next game against HAL).

That was exactly the point captain Dulal Biswas made on the eve of the game. “The transfers are around the corner and the boys will surely want to prove themselves,” he said. It’ll surely be one hell of a motivation, as the club authorities have already showed inclination to let go some of the non-performers.

This will also be a big game for Jose Ramirez Barreto. It’s his last game of the season, a season, which in his words, has been the ‘worst ever’ in his three-year stint with Bagan. “I want to finish on a winning note. That will at least be some sort of a consolation,” the Brazilian said.

He has already announced that he will not play the game against HAL, leaving for Brazil Wednesday itself (after the game). According to club authorities, he will be back in July, though, he himself is not quite “certain about my future”.

Meanwhile, Bagan will be missing George Ekeh (knee-jerk) and Kajol Bhattacharya (official assignment). Yusuf Yakubu and Lolendra Singh will also miss the match through double bookings.

“The defence is bit of a worry, but, let’s see how things go,” stop-gap coach Bidesh Bose said.

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