Mohun Bagan hopes to better performance

<img border='0' align='left' title=' ' src=' ' class='caption'> Mohun Bagan celebrated 92nd anniversary of becoming the first Indian team to win the IFA shield.

Updated: February 25, 2007 09:48 IST
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There were two football clubs celebrating in Kolkata today. While East Bengal fans were in a tizzy to welcome their heroes back home after their win in Jakarta, Mohun Bagan supporters were also celebrating. It was on this day back in 1911 that they became the first Indian team to win the IFA shield. Ninety-two years ago, Mohun Bagan had trounced the East Yorkshire regiment. But lately the club's performance has been lacklustre. Extraneous factors like infighting within the management and a court case involving its sponsor has further weighed down the club. Anjan Mitra, General Secretary, Mohun Bagan, said, "A handful of our members are creating problems. They have gone to court and are creating a disturbance in the club. We are fighting amongst ourselves and the footballers are suffering." The club's veterans, however, have not entirely lost heart, even coming in to play an exhibition match of a shorter than normal duration to mark Mohun Bagan's day of glory. Shyam Thapa, a former East Bengal player, said, "Mohun Bagan is going through a bad patch now. But the problems can be solved. Today we have come here to celebrate and hope the problem will be resolved soon." Aloke Mukherjee, Coach, Mohun Bagan, said, "I think the problems will be solved very soon. The team is doing well. We have lost just one match against East Bengal because we were not prepared enough." A large part of East Bengal's success is being credited to its foreign physical trainer Kevin Jackson. If Robson Matos of Brazil, who has made a mark as a physical trainer back home, can work a similar spell, Mohun Bagan may be able to pull itself up by the bootstraps and out of the doldrums.

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