Mohun Bagan succumbed to their first defeat of the I-League season as they went down 2-4 to Churchill Brothers. This was after the Mariners only picked a point from their opening match against Aizawl FC.
Coach Kibu Vicuna opined that individual mistakes cost his team as they also failed to capitalize on the chances they created at the other end.
“We need to be fresher. Today we conceded too many goals. We tried to do our best to mark Willis Plaza. In set-pieces, individual mistakes cost us the goals. In my opinion, we were better in and around the 18-yard box and we lost in the most important part of the field which is inside the box,” said Vicuna.
He mentioned that they struggled to contain the likes of Willis Plaza, Robert Primus and Radanfa Abu Bakr from set-piece situations which came to hurt them in the end.
“We are working hard to improve our defence. The best recipe is to work more in training. Today we conceded too many defensively. We worked on defending crosses and marking Plaza, but were unable to clear the first cross leading in his goal. In set-pieces, they had big figures like Plaza, Al Bakr, Primus who scored the goals.
“I think after the restart, we played good but we couldn’t score. In the second half we played better in the first 25-to-30 minutes but while we created chances, we couldn’t score.”
Vicuna expressed his surprise in the manner in which his side capitulated which was a result of not being tight at the back.
“To be honest, I didn’t expect this result. Before the match I thought the opposite. Today we played better than we did against Aizawl. But we weren’t consistent tonight as we conceded too many goals. When you feel like you are better than the opponent, it is not that they won’t be able to score. But it’s only the start of the league and we have enough time to come back and be on the first position later on.”
He urged his strikers to be clinical in front of goal and cited the examples of Plaza and Marcus Joseph of Gokulam Kerala.
“We need more training. The only way we can improve is by training better. Sometimes it’s not the question of quantity but the question of quality of the training session. We are creating, we aren’t scoring. Our players need to capitalize on converting chances like Joseph with Gokulam and as today Plaza did with Churchill.
“Football is about moments. One moment you lose the concentration and you’re done. The worst thing is to have this feeling of losing. We conceded in very important moments of the game. We pegged back to make 1-2 and then we conceded and lost our confidence,” he explained.
Vicuna admitted that his side are always under pressure given the massive fan following they enjoy. He promised a strong showing from the team in their next match on Wednesday when they face TRAU FC in Kolkata.
“We are under pressure all the time, especially when the results aren’t going our way. But I don’t think about pressure. I believe this team will come back strong and we need to show a stronger personality in the next game. We must improve our game. In both areas of the game, we have to be improving ourselves.
“We are thinking about reinforcements. We are going to try and improve the team. Mohun Bagan is always trying to improve their team,” he concluded.