East Bengal might have been unable to get a win over arch-rivals Mohun Bagan in the first Kolkata Derby of 2016, but coach Biswajit Bhattacharya believes that his team did well to create more chances than a full-strength Mohun Bagan side.
“I cannot explain the whole match analysis to you, but rest assured my coaching staff would be doing that with the players,” said Biswajit Bhattacharya in the post match press conference. “I was pleased with what I saw out there, as we could have played much better [if we had a full strength squad]. We can play much better than this.”
The main story ahead of the match was that East Bengal’s latest star-signing Bernard Mendy was still unavailable to take part in the tournament, as he was yet to receive his work VISA, for India. On the flip side however, Mohun Bagan’s Sony Norde returned to the squad a few days ahead of the crucial derby. This meant that the Lal-Holud brigade was unable to play their best team, in spite of the fact that they were playing a very crucial game.
‘We were happy to see Balwant coming on’
Mohun Bagan Sanjoy Sen coach had decided to bring off teenager Azharuddin Mallick in the 13th minute of the match, and send his experienced warhorse Balwant Singh to play up front alongside Cornell Glen. However, Bhattacharya said that he and his men were rather happy to see Balwant coming on, as they had studied the 29-year-old and his moves from last season.
“Balwant coming on did not really bother us. We had studied his moves thoroughly, and knew when he would try the backheels and flicks, to play Glen through,” said Bhattacharya.
East Bengal no doubt emerged as the happier of the two sides with the draw and now face DSK Shivajians in their next match on 26th of this month.