KOLKATA: Despite making a winning start to their 2020/21 Hero I-League campaign, Mohammedan Sporting Club seek improvement as they prepare to face Churchill Brothers FC Goa at Kalyani Municipal Stadium on Thursday, kick-off 7 pm.
The Black Panthers edged past Sudeva Delhi FC 1-0 thanks to a 58th minute strike from winger Fasial Ali. The three points won, however, were not good enough for coach Jose Hevia as the former shot-stopper sought to fine-tune his game-plan and feels they can still do better.
“Winning is always great and it is understandable that it gives the players a different confidence. But it’s not just a question of winning but how. We have to try and correct our performance. We want to improve on keeping the shape as well as improving the conversion rate.” Hevia said.
“We are not getting ahead of ourselves. I am taking each game as it comes. We need to keep concentrated and focused on the task at hand, and make sure that we play the next game in the best way possible.” he added.
Hevia has been a master at organizing his team in a tight formation but admitted that he is trying to find “the right mix” in his team going forward into the campaign. The gaffer said his team still has “plenty of scope for improvement” before they embark on a tough phase.
Meanwhile, he insisted that they have been working on improving their game, saying, “We have addressed the issue of consistency in our play. The lads looked sharp in training and the mood in the camp is good.”
The gaffer made it clear that they are going to approach the game with a more patient lookout as they will prefer to read their opponents before hurling the attacks on the Red Machines. Hevia holds Churchill in high esteem and believes it’s going to be one of the toughest challenges of the league.
“We have respect for Churchill but every game we play to win. I admit that it will be a difficult match but we have prepared well for the occasion.” concluded Hevia.
Skipper Eze Kingsley also sounded confident: “We are aware of this game’s importance. Against Churchill, we have to do better than what we did against Sudeva. It’s not going to be easy. But we have good energy and we have a great attitude in the camp at the moment.”
While happy that football is back, Kingsley is missing having fans in the stadium and has made that clear. “Everyone is getting used to the ‘new normal’ but it’s been difficult,” he confesses. “We are used to playing in packed stadiums and we miss our fans. They are the driving force behind the team. They give us a lot of confidence going into games. There is a big difference in not having them in the stadium but it’s encouraging to know they are rooting for us from home. We promise them that will continue working hard and push for positive results whenever we play.”