Mohun Bagan take on Salgaocar
16 November 2012
KOLKATA, 16 NOV: One name is common to the opponents – host Mohun Bagan and visitor Salgaocar SC – meeting in the Saturday’s sixth round I-League match at Kolkata’s Salt Lake Stadium.
The name of Moroccan coach Karim Bencherifa dominated the discussion of both the teams ahead of their crucial match. Though the coach will not be present in person for either of the sides in the upcoming match but his influence as the former Salgaocar coach and the future incumbent of Mohun Bagan remained a dominant topic on the day of the preview.
“Karim did a good job with the side in the past two seasons. But it is a different situation having taken the charge of the team midway,” said Englishman David Booth, who took up the charge of Salgaocar after Karim left it last month.
Booth is looking to rearrange the former champion from Goa and set them on a winning course. The team has managed to do moderately in the last five rounds where it could win just one, drew twice and lost the remainder of the matches. With five points, which put them in the ninth position in the current standings, Booth is aware of the magnitude of the rebuilding process that he needs to do for Salgaocar.
Salgaocar has no big worries with injuries or suspensions but one of its foreign recruits Angel Guiardo has gone back to Philippines on a call from the national squad. The rest of the three foreigners – Luciano Sabrosa, Quinton Jacobs and Sean Rooney – will be there in Booth’s roster.
Mohun Bagan, which has not lost a match after their successive defeats in the first two rounds, will be eager to get back to winning form following its goalless draw against ONGC FC in the previous round.
Mohun Bagan has seven points from its five outings and their stand-in coach Mridul Banerjee expected the team to fare well against Salgaocar.
“Our team has gained the rhythm after initial setbacks and we hope to continue the rhythm against Salgaocar,” Banerjee said. The former international, who with the support of the team’s Nigerian striker Okolie Odafa, has stemmed the flow of losses is expected to use the same defensive format of 4-4-1-1 against a strong opponent like Salgaocar.
Odafa is expected to remain the lone striker while a widely spreads out midfield – which may have the likes of Rahim Nabi, Jewel Raja, Denson Devadas and Stanley Okoroigwe – will assist the Nigerian goal poacher.
Midfielder Manish Mathani and goalkeeper Arindam Bhattacharya are uncertain with injury while Australian striker Tolgay Ozbey is recuperating from a knee surgery in his own country.
With most of his key players available Mridul Banerjee will be looking to end with a win before Karim Bencherifa takes over Mohun Bagan as the chief coach ahead of the next round. agencies