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If we play like a team, no one can go past us, says Mohun Bagan asst. coach Manuel Cascallana after ISL Shield win

Published at :April 15, 2024 at 11:47 PM
Modified at :April 15, 2024 at 11:47 PM
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(Courtesy : ISL Media)

Uttiyo Sarkar

Manuel Cascallana also shared how Antonio Habas made an impact on the Mohun Bagan contingent.

Mohun Bagan won their first-ever Indian Super League (ISL) Shield championship with a thrilling 2-1 win over Mumbai City at a jam-packed Salt Lake Stadium, Kolkata on Monday (April 15). Goals from Liston Colaco (28’) and Jason Cummings (80’) sealed a historic win for the Mariners, who will now be able to play in Asia, thanks to this title win.

Manuel Cascallana praises Mohun Bagan for perfectly executing the plan

Mohun Bagan’s assistant coach Manuel Cascallana was a delighted figure after the game. He spoke about his side’s plan for this match and a slightly defensive approach in the second half. He shared: “The only plan was to win three points today, so it obviously went according to our ideas.

“It was difficult (in the second half). The way they attacked and were lucid as they needed to draw; the team became a bit cautious. But with the substitutions, with the introduction of Tangri, Brendan and Jason – we changed the dynamics of the second half. We have 21 warriors in our team who fought till the last minute and finally got the job done and won the game,” he added.

Praise for the 61,117 strong supporters

With 61,117 Mohun Bagan fans having attended the match at the Salt Lake Stadium, Cascallana voiced the squad’s gratitude to the loyals all over the world. He said: “We are really thankful to them. We felt their presence from the warm-up that is before the game. I hope Mohun Bagan fans all over the world are very happy tonight. This is for them!”

Mohun Bagan thrived under pressure

The Spaniard insisted that the Mariners have thrived under pressure over the last few months to win the championship. He remarked: “We were always under pressure, but this is good pressure. It was a pressure to have in the last few games, as it gave us the possibility of winning the championship. We’ve been here three months, coach Habas and me, and we were nine points behind Goa before the second leg started. But I remember what coach said after the Goa match – if you trust me in my work, we will win the championship. Look where we are now!”

Praise for the quality of entire squad

Manuel Cascallana also hailed the quality of Mohun Bagan’s entire squad in a big way by praising some of the brighter performers from the Mumbai City win. He stated: “Look, we have two groups of players who can play in the first XI. Yesterday in training, we played with one first XI and today morning we changed that as we felt different.

“Everyone can play, everyone can score. Tangri is a very good player, Thapa is a very good player and Aman played so well against Bengaluru and Liston was so good. Everyone is important. We are telling the truth – anyone in this squad can play in the starting XI,” he added.

The never-say-die attitude of Mohun Bagan and Antonio Habas’ influence

The tactician had a lot of praise for how the Mohun Bagan side kept believing in their ability to win the ISL Shield heading into the second leg of the season. He explained: “It’s very simple. We have the best squad in the ISL and we only need them to play like a team. If we play like a team, no one can go past us. The players combined from the first minute worked hard in each match – doesn’t matter what the result was.

“When we lost against Chennaiyin, it would’ve been for everyone to start thinking that winning the Shield isn’t going to happen. But we did the opposite and the team continued believing. The only thing that helped was the attitude on and off the pitch,” he also stated.

Finally, Cascallana hailed the impact of Antonio Habas – who was able to be on the bench after missing the last few games due to illness. He said: “In the last few games, he might not have been on the bench but all the strategies, picking the first XI and how we’ll play came from him. He might have not been in training with the team, but I was his eyes and his soul.

“He’s the most important person in the team, he’s the director or the driver of the bus. Obviously, it was important for the players that today Habas was on the bench,” he concluded.

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