Coach Shankarlal urges Mohun Bagan to give 200%
Kolkata: Elevated to the position of Mohun Bagan's chief coach, Shankarlal Chakraborty on Thursday urged his players to put in their "200 per cent" in order to turn the wheels after their I-League campaign.
"We have to give our 200 per cent now to bounce back. Our target is to become champions eventually. But we want to take one match at a time," Chakraborty said ahead of their January 7 fixture against Aizawl FC as they have slipped to fourth in the table.
Sanjoy Sen had stepped down as the chief coach minutes after Bagan succumbed to a 1-2 defeat to a 10-man Chennai City FC, their first defeat of the season that came at their home ground.
Mohun Bagan last won against Churchill Brothers on December 10 as they dropped points for three consecutive matches before capping the poor run with their first-ever home defeat.
In less than 24 hours, the Mariners announcement came of elevating Chakraborty to chief coach who said they are yet to finalise on bringing on board a psychologist on board to help the players overcome mental hurdle but nothing on that has been finalised.
Arch-rivals East Bengal on the other hand have consolidated their position atop the table with 17 points after eight matches, while the 2014-15 champions have slipped to fourth with 10 points, albeit with a match in hand.
"They need tself-confidence needs to comeback. Keeping in mind Mohun Bagan's support base, when the team suffers back- to-back setbacks, more than technical you need to bring back the self-confidence among the players," Chakraborty added.
An assistant coach since July 2014, Chakraborty was at the helm of affairs during the Calcutta Football League Premier Division 2017 where they were pipped to the title by bitter foes East Bengal.
"You will always be under pressure at Mohun Bagan. Under pressure, at times you excel," he said very much aware of the challenges ahead.
Chakraborty however pointed out that they were plagued with injuries after their big win against Churchill that came on the artificial Barasat turf. "We suffered four major injuries. Then we had a spate of draws. In the second draw, we were leading by a goal but drew.
Then players started feeling the pressure. They could not get out of a hole. Sanjoyda had said despite telling them, the players did not listen. This also shows they were not confident," he said.
Giving an update on the prevailing injuries he said Haitian star Sony Norde who consulted Dr Anant Joshi in Mumbai is regaining full fitness from his injury to right meniscus.
Norde, who missed last two matches, will not require a surgery and has been advised rest for two weeks. Arijit Bagui will be available for their match against Aizawl.