Shillong: Shillong Lajong FC general
secretary Larsing Ming Sawain has admitted that the club`s
I-League debacle was a setback but asserted that the team
remains upbeat despite poor show in the tournament.
"Getting relegated is a setback but the boys are not
demoralised. It was a mixed season for the team," Sawain said
"The boys did well in Federation Cup. They defeated the
top five teams, but strategy in I-League games is different.
Boys run down through immense pressure as they have to play
both home and away games," he said.
He maintained that the boys were inexperienced and
conditions away from home were tough for the boys to cope
Lajong`s debut season in I-League ended in relegation,
with North-East based club finishing rock bottom in the table
with six wins from 26 games.
Asked about the exit of the coach Stanley Rosario, Sawain
said, "He had one-year contract with Lajong which got expired.
So, he is free to choose any club."
Rosario, a former assistant India coach and Army captain,
has joined Mohun Bagan. Lajong, the only club from North East
to play I-League is on the look-out for a foreign coach.
The team has also overrun its contract with two of its
key foreign recruits - Daniel Bidemi and James Gbilee - and
the management will be looking forward for some new and better
players, Sawain said.
Commenting on being relegated out of I-League, Sawain
said, "AIFF should understand that Lajong has made football
popular in the region. It is the first team from North-East to
qualify for I-League."