The Telegraph
Sunday , November 25 , 2012
Since 1st March, 1999
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Bagan have a battle on hand

Pune: Karim Bencharifa has a lot of issues to sort out as he leads Mohun Bagan to their first away match since taking over last week, having put in his papers at Salgaocar SC after just five rounds of this edition’s I-League.

Bencharifa and Okolie Odafe, the most expensive coach and player respectively of the current season, are on the same side but it will take a few victories to get them on even keel. And, as Mohun Bagan get ready to meet Mumbai FC on Sunday evening in the Round VII match at the Balewadi Sports Complex, Benchearifa wouldn’t have asked for a better setting to begin his fresh stint.

“The morale of the team is quite high as they are coming from an impressive win against Salgaocar. They are ready for another challenge, especially against Mumbai FC as I consider no team to be a weak one,” said Bencherifa, after Saturday’s practice session.

Bagan had made a horrendous start to the season, losing the first two rounds before finding their feet against Air India at this same venue, something that Bagan would like to cash in on against Mumbai.

“It feels good to have rejoined Mohun Bagan. It has been a smooth transition for me until now, and all are well prepared for the game.Also, I have known most of the players because I have already coached them and followed them as well,” said Bencharifa.

Bagan are currently placed sixth with 10 points from three wins and a draw, while Mumbai FC are 10 th with six points with just two wins so far.