India coach Stephen Constantine said as far as he is concerned, Mohun Bagan goalie Debjit Majumder isn’t interested in playing for the national team.
“When you call a player and he doesn’t report, what does it mean? It means he is not interested. I called him and he didn’t report, end of story,” said Constantine here on Sunday.
Constantine was referring to Majumder being called for a preparatory camp ahead of India’s World Cup qualifier against Turkmenistan in Kochi last March. Mohun Bagan delayed his release because they had a crucial I-League game away to Aizawl FC on March 26 which was also the last day for Majumder to report to the India camp. India lost 1-2 to Turkmenistan on March 29, 2016. (East Bengal vs Mohun Bagan match highlights)
Majumder has been in good form for Mohun Bagan and Atletico de Kolkata in ISL3. He had a good game on Sunday but simply said “saving goals is my job and I am happy to have done it. It doesn’t always come off like this.”
Constantine also said he had wanted to play Thailand as preparation for the 2019 Asian Cup qualifier away to Myanmar. “But they weren’t available. Vietnam was my next choice but they too had committed to games elsewhere, so Cambodia it will be.”
The India head thought that the 0-0 draw was a fair result, a point East Bengal coach Trevor Morgan and Mohun Bagan’s Sanjoy Sen separately agreed to. Morgan also said he thought “at some point in time the teams sub-consciously decided ‘we don’t want to lose this”.
“We had a disappointing first half because all the things we had worked hard at in training weren’t being executed. Having said that, we are a new team, we have been together for some two months while they (Mohun Bagan) have been together for three seasons now. And don’t forget, they are a quality side. So, I would say this was a hard-earned point. We will get to know at the end of the league how important this turns out to be,” said Morgan.
East Bengal’s goalie and Man of the Match TP Rehenesh said he didn’t know that Constantine was present when asked this award meant more because the national coach had come to watch. He also thanked Morgan for keeping faith in him after a loss of form last season.