While both the sides had to settle for a nail-biting draw at the end of the Kolkata Derby, Mohun Bagan coach Sanjoy Sen believes that some of the tackles that the East Bengal players made, merited red cards.
The hard-fought battle between the two sides saw four yellow cards, with both the sides getting two each. While Mohun Bagan midfielder Pranoy Halder and East Bengal defender Arnab Mondal were booked for clashing with each other in the second half, Dhanachandra Singh and Saumik Dey were booked for clumsy tackles. However, Sanjoy Sen seemed to be referring to Mehtab Hossain and Rahul Bhake, both of whom seemed to have gotten away with a number of nasty tackles.
“Some of their players have these kind of tendencies, and I had said before also that these kind of things will happen. I told my players again and again, not to fall for this. I even wrote on the board that a lot of provocations would be there, but you should not fall in that trap,” said Sen in the post match press conference.
“Some of those tackles, where they missed the ball completely and kicked at the feet, they can only do this here. Outside India, these are red cards,” he further said.
‘Derby Draw a confidence booster’
The Mariners had less possession of the ball, and only seemed to have come to life once they went down to the Ranti Martins goal. However, Sanjoy Sen feels that the spirit that his team showed to make the comeback after falling behind in the second half, is something that can take his team a long way in the tournament.
“This match will give us a lot of confidence because the team showed a lot of spirit to come back and get the equaliser after falling behind in the second half,” he said. “The spirit we showed after conceding that goal made me really happy, and this can take us a long way forward.”
Players found it difficult to adapt to the pitch
While indicating in the press conference, that Sony Norde’s performance in his first match back in the Green and Maroon colours was an average one, Sanjoy Sen did take a more sympathetic view of the Haitian forward later on. He believed that the pace and bounce of the pitch at the Salt Lake Stadium is a lot different from the other ones.
“One big issue is the pace and bounce of the pitch. Sony [Norde] could not match up with the pace of the pitch quite a few times,” Sanjoy Sen explained while waiting outside the team bus, after the match. “Even Dong found it quite difficult on the pitch. I’m not blaming anyone, but this is perhaps a problem with the adjustment to the field.”