The Kolkata Derby: Coaches rule out pressure, focus on points

Trevor Morgan and Sanjoy Sen, the men at the helm of the traditional rivals East Bengal and Mohun Bagan, sought to underplay the psychological pressure on their teams ahead of the Derby clash saying it is the job of the fans to feel tensed.

Sanjoy Sen said that Bengal derby is the reason football is alive in India.   -  V.Ganesan

Trevor Morgan and Sanjoy Sen, the men at the helm of the traditional rivals East Bengal and Mohun Bagan, sought to underplay the psychological pressure on their teams ahead of the Derby clash saying it is the job of the fans to feel tensed.

“The pressure does not originate from the team but it comes from the people around it. Even Sanjoy (Sen) will agree that tomorrow’s match is about three points. But for supporters, it is a special occasion,” Morgan said on the eve of the match. The English coach said that the team will have to play 10 more matches in the I-League after the Sunday’s fixture and the result will have little bearing on the final outcome. “After this game we have got to play ten games, which means there are thirty more points available. So many things happen during the course of a football season,” was how Morgan sought to put things in perspective.

“Winning the I-League does not depend on winning or losing this match. If we win tomorrow’s match, that does not mean we have won the I-League, if we draw or lose, we do not fall out of the title race,” Sanjoy Sen said. “But to win a championship, you need to win every match which it is not realistically possible. Our target will be to achieve three points,” he added when asked about his plans about Derby.

Sen made a pertinent point about the importance of the Derby. “Football, in Bengal and more so in India, is still alive because of the contest between Mohun Bagan and East Bengal. The importance of this rivalry is now known all over the country with foreign players and coaches coming in big numbers. It is a good advertisement for Indian football,” Sen said.

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