Injury-laden Mohun Bagan eye win against NEROCA FC

Grappling with injuries, Mohun Bagan will be desperate to return to winning ways when they face debutants Neroca FC in an I-League football fixture at the Saltlake Stadium here today.

Star Haitian forward Sony Norde and Ansumana Kromah, who sat out in their 1-1 draw against Shillong Lajong FC, are still carrying niggles and remain doubtful starters, while Arijit Bagui and Azharuddin Mallick have been ruled out.

Defender Kingsley Eze Obumneme is serving a suspension after his red card against Shillong Lajong and coach Sanjoy Sen will have task cut out against the debutants who are fresh from two successive wins against Chennai City and Gokulam FC.

However, Sen did not want the injuries to be an excuse, especially to that of Yuta Kinowaki who has been ruled out for at least five weeks.

"It is a part and parcel of the modern game. Unfortunately this season the injuries are a bit more but we have to make results from what we have," Sen said at the news conference.

"We are missing Yuta of course but it does not mean the team was wholly reliant on him. He played the lone match and he was good and everyone termed him as the man to look out for.

"We might never know if he would have been that important for us until and unless he plays more games. So it is unfortunate but there is no point crying over split milk," he said.

Sen urged his side to buck up after dropping points in two games out of four.

"We have to learn from our past mistakes. It is not that we haven't scored goals in the game against Minerva and Lajong -- the two games we dropped points in.

"We conceded after scoring the first goal and it is imperative that we don't drop points in our home games."

Sen, however, said the fight for the championship is still not a lost cause.

"For the last three years I have been harping over the lack of consistency and seldom has it been that Mohun Bagan have won three games back-to-back," he said.

"If you look at it, right now we are kind of in a similar position in terms of points compared to out title-winning season," he reasoned.

The former United SC man only had words of praise for the visitors.

"They are a good side with five good foreigners. They have Subash Singh and Saran Singh who were once part of our team. Even Govin Singh has played for India and Felix Chidi already has two goals to his name.

"Gift and I have a good relation. He is a young and enterprising coach and they are an organised outfit."

The Manipuri outfit are just two points behind the Mariners with six points in their kitty with a game in hand and their confidence is at sky-high but head coach Gift Raikhan knew the threat the Kolkata giants would pose.

"It will be good for the people of Manipur if Neroca beat a big club like Mohun Bagan. But beating Mohun Bagan is not easy at all and everyone knows that," he said.

"We cannot predict. They are not about one or two important foreigners. Mohun Bagan is Mohun Bagan. The club's name is there and they will play for the club's name. It is not going to be easy. Despite their injuries and suspension, they will still be strong," he said.

"We won our last two games after losing our first one and the boys are now highly motivated and they want to show that they can play that football of a higher standard. We will stick to our plan and give our hundred percent.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

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