| Subhas Bhowmick
Calcutta, July 5:Going out of his way, Subhas Bhowmick made a fervent appeal to his boys during Saturday’s team meeting that anything less than a 2-0 win would amount to “disappointment”, if not defeat, for him.
More than revealing the unknown side of the East Bengal coach, this, perhaps, put his plans into perspective, ahead of the much bigger and serious challenges in the ASEAN Club Championship.
“I knew that any setback against Mohun Bagan could have jeopardised my plans for the tournament. In that case, I might have been forced to rework my blueprint in Indonesia. Today’s result, at least, gave me and my team confidence that we are moving in the right direction and ready to take on the champion teams from South East Asia,” Bhowmick maintained.
He highlighted East Bengal’s first goal from captain Suley Musah as a perfect culmination of his plans. “I started Musah in the midfield as a blocker, deliberately giving the rivals an impression that he would be hovering on the defensive zone. But he was soon made into a second striker and the move paid off immediately,” the coach pointed out.
No doubt, then, that Subhas’ opposite in Mohun Bagan was ruing lack of preparation as the key cause for the disaster in a post-match discussion. “The match was played between a well-groomed, well-prepared team and another, who didn’t have enough time to get its act together,” Aloke Mukherjee said.
“Give us time to settle down. Both (Jose Ramirez) Barreto and Marcos (Perreira) joined the team the other day. They also need time to get acclimatised to a new outfit. With the current set-up of my team, I was hoping for a miracle against East Bengal. But it didn’t take place today.”
“I’m confident about my team. Next time we face East Bengal, at least this result will not be repeated,” he added.
Barreto echoed his coach, saying “the team required more preparation for the match”.
Captain Rennedy Singh, however, made it a point that had his 17-minute strike not been ruled out as a foul, the result might have been different. Musah’s opener came six minutes later.
“I went to the referee and asked him why he didn’t rule the goal in our favour. I was told I committed a foul on a defender. Thereafter, I decided not to argue with him,” Rennedy remarked.