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Mohun Bagan eye end to hitches at home as Chennai City come calling in I-League

Mohun Bagan’s injured star striker Sony Norde may miss Tuesday’s I-League tie vs Chennai City FC in Kolkata.

football Updated: Jan 01, 2018 20:34 IST
Dhiman Sarkar
Dhiman Sarkar
Hindustan Times, Kolkata
Mohun Bagan,Chennai City FC,I-League
Mohun Bagan will take on Chennai City FC in the I-League on Tuesday.(PTI)

Mohun Bagan’s coming home in the I-League coincided with coach Sanjoy Sen being jeered for the first time since taking charge in December 2014.

And if they begin 2018, against Chennai City FC on Mohun Bagan ground on Tuesday, the way they ended 2017, calls for Sen’s removal may get louder.

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Sen’s highs and lows

Less than six months after taking charge, Sen helmed Mohun Bagan to their first I-League title. Next season, they won the Federation Cup and came within two points of defending the I-League crown. Going into their seventh match in this season’s I-League on the back of three successive home draws, which included a performance as dull as dishwater against Indian Arrows in their last game, all that seems like history.

“We are responsible for this situation and it is for us to find a way to get out of it,” said Sen on Monday.

To do that without star striker Sony Norde, who is likely to miss his second straight game due to injury, means Mohun Bagan will have to show the kind of character they haven’t since steamrollering Churchill Brothers on December 10. That win had come on the back of a 1-0 defeat of East Bengal but draws against Neroca FC, Shillong Lajong and Indian Arrows mean Mohun Bagan have squandered most of the early gains.

READ | Clinical Aizawl FC beat Gokulam Kerala FC in I-League

Chennai FC’s French threat

Against Indian Arrows, experienced central defender Kinshuk Debnath was found wanting for pace and since Sen hinted at changes to the starting 11, it is possible Rana Gharami would replace him. In Jean Michael Joachim the away team has a French forward who has played in Ligue 1 and scored four of their six goals. He could be a handful for Mohun Bagan, who haven’t been able to protect their lead in three games.

Having played their first five games away, Chennai City FC have come here having lost to East Bengal at home, their fourth defeat in six rounds. Coach V Soundarajan though said the results didn’t reflect the performance.

“It will be a special challenge to play Mohun Bagan at home,” he said. Should Chennai City FC rise to the occasion, it would exacerbate Mohun Bagan’s hitches at home.

First Published: Jan 01, 2018 17:30 IST