We are Mohun Bagan and are always ready to adapt to tough situations – Clifford Miranda on approaching Kalinga Super Cup


The All India Football Federation revealed its plans to host the Kalinga Super Cup in Odisha, commencing on January 9, 2024. The tournament is set to unfold across two distinct venues within the state.

A broad spectrum of football teams, encompassing both the Indian Super League and I-League, has received invitations to participate in this annual event. The tournament’s structure is designed around four groups, each comprising four teams engaged in single-leg matches within their respective groups. The victors of each group will progress to the semi-finals, culminating in the championship final scheduled for January 28, 2024.

In the upcoming edition of the Kalinga Super Cup, East Bengal FC and Mohun Bagan Super Giant are bracing themselves for an intense encounter in Group A, marking the third Kolkata derby of the season. The Kolkata derby, known for its historical significance, is amplified by the fact that only one team will progress to the semi-finals from this group stage, elevating the stakes for both teams.

We are Mohun Bagan and are always ready to adapt to tough situations - Clifford Miranda on approaching Kalinga Super Cup
Hyderabad FC gear up for the Kalinga Super Cup 2024 in Bhubaneshwar, Odisha

Sharing Group A with these Kolkata giants are Hyderabad FC and I-League representative Sreenidi Deccan FC from the Indian Super League (ISL). Hyderabad FC is determined to shake off recent setbacks and initiate a fresh start in the Kalinga Super Cup, aspiring for a robust comeback in the latter stages of the ISL.

Sreenidi Deccan FC, currently positioned third in the I-League standings, is poised to offer formidable competition to the ISL teams. With familiar faces from the ISL, including Albino Gomes, Eli Sabia, Gurmukh Singh, and Mohammad Sajid Dhot, the I-League squad is geared up to fiercely contend for the coveted semi-final berth, promising a thrilling battle in Group A.

At the onset of the tournament, the Gaffers of the four teams from Group – A joined in for a press conference and answered some of the questions from the press.

Also Read : Kalinga Super Cup 2024 – All You Need To Know

“We are a club which is still growing” says Sreenidi Deccan’s coach Carlos Vaz on the Kalinga Super Cup 2024

Sreenidi Deccan FC finds itself amidst football giants in Group A of the highly anticipated Kalinga Super Cup, alongside powerhouses such as Mohun Bagan Super Giants, East Bengal FC, and Hyderabad FC from the Indian Super League (ISL). As a formidable contender hailing from the I-League, Sreenidi Deccan FC enters the tournament with a determined spirit and unwavering ambition. Currently holding a commendable position in the I-League standings, the team is eager to showcase its prowess against elite ISL opposition.

Carlos Vaz was asked about how his team looks ahead to the Kalinga Super Cup, considering the presence of top ISL teams. Carlos said, “This competition holds immense personal significance for us as a club, considering our ongoing journey of growth and development. The previous season marked a commendable performance in this very competition, playing a pivotal role in both the collective progress of the team and the individual advancements of our players. Notably, five of our players secured the opportunity to transition to the ISL following their standout performances in this tournament.”

We are Mohun Bagan and are always ready to adapt to tough situations - Clifford Miranda on approaching Kalinga Super Cup
Sreenidi Deccan FC reach Odisha ahead of the 2024 Kalinga Super Cup

“As a club that is continually evolving, our primary objective remains twofold: to fortify our standing as a cohesive team and to strengthen our identity as a growing football club. This event serves as another crucial stepping stone for us, providing yet another occasion to compete in a challenging and competitive group, pitting ourselves against teams that surpass us in experience and stature.”

Led by a roster featuring seasoned players with previous ISL experience, including notable names like Albino Gomes, Eli Sabia, Gurmukh Singh, and Mohammad Sajid Dhot, Sreenidi Deccan FC aspires to make a lasting impression in the Kalinga Super Cup, aiming not only to compete fiercely but also to secure a coveted spot in the semi-finals. Their journey promises to add an intriguing dimension to the tournament, setting the stage for captivating clashes against some of the nation’s footballing giants.

“Despite the constraints, we view this as a great platform for the youngsters to unleash themselves” says Clifford Miranda of Mohun Bagan SG ahead of the Super Cup

Mohun Bagan Super Giant finds itself in a state of transition and uncertainty with the recent departure of head coach Juan Ferrando. The decision to part ways has stirred a wave of dismay within the club, prompting the appointment of seasoned coach Antonio Lopez Habas, who is set to take charge in the near future. As the interim, the responsibility of steering the team falls on the capable shoulders of Clifford Miranda. However, the team faces additional challenges as seven of its key players are currently representing the national team, leaving the squad temporarily weakened.

On being asked about how the team is getting along after the sacking of their former manager, Juan Ferrando, Clifford said, “I recently had a brief conversation with Antonio, and the insights he shared with me will remain confidential. Regarding my collaboration with Juan, we have previously worked closely together in Goa and Mohun Bagan. Our football philosophies align closely, both offensively and defensively. While there are diverse approaches to playing football, as a coach and a system-oriented individual, I respect every perspective, whether it comes from the coaching staff I collaborate with or other coaches in the field. Our current strategy, at least thus far, is geared towards playing in a manner that maximizes our chances of winning. I’d like to emphasize the need to respect various football ideologies.”

We are Mohun Bagan and are always ready to adapt to tough situations - Clifford Miranda on approaching Kalinga Super Cup
Mohun Bagan SG practice in their club tent as they set the tone for the Kalinga Super Cup 2024

On the lack of first team players for the National Camp, Miranda said, “Despite the constraints, we view this as an opportunity to provide playing time to younger and less experienced players. We have prepared diligently in the past week and intend to offer chances to those who haven’t had many opportunities. While acknowledging the difficulties, we see this as a chance for our players to gain valuable experience and match fitness in a competitive environment against formidable teams like Hyderabad, East Bengal, and Sreenidi Deccan.”

Amidst this backdrop, Mohun Bagan Super Giant is gearing up for a significant fixture—the much-anticipated Kolkata derby—an encounter that always carries immense weight and historical significance. The upcoming matches will undoubtedly serve as a test of resilience and adaptation for the team as they navigate through this period of change and prepare for the exciting challenges that lie ahead.

“We are looking to win the first silverware of the season” Carles Cuadrat of East Bengal FC sets his target ahead of the Super Cup

As East Bengal FC eagerly anticipates its participation in the upcoming Super Cup, there is a palpable sense of hope and optimism resonating within the squad. Armed with a formidable lineup, the team is poised to embark on the tournament with the collective aspiration of clinching silverware in the current season. With a squad that boasts both depth and skill, East Bengal FC sets its sights on achieving success in the Super Cup, showcasing the determination and prowess that has become synonymous with the club’s rich footballing legacy.

Carles Cuadrat shared his thoughts on facing Mohun Bagan SG as they will be missing some of their first team players. Carles said, “The forthcoming match promises to be a formidable encounter against a strong opponent, cognizant of their ability to part ways with six foreigners while maintaining a roster of skilled Indian players. On the flip side, facing a team like Sreenidi Deccan FC, even though they may not be competing against top-tier teams, poses its own set of challenges.

We are Mohun Bagan and are always ready to adapt to tough situations - Clifford Miranda on approaching Kalinga Super Cup
Souvik Chakrabarti of East Bengal FC train ahead of the Kalinga Super Cup 2024

“Mohun Bagan SG, with its exceptional players, could present a robust side when deploying all six foreign players simultaneously on the pitch. This prospect, undoubtedly, adds an element of excitement not only for Mohun Bagan Super Giant supporters but for football enthusiasts across India. The blend of foreign talent and domestic prowess in the competition reflects a thrilling prospect for the footballing community at large.”

The players, under the guidance of their coaching staff, approach the competition with a winning mentality, fuelled by the desire to etch their names in the annals of footballing glory. As East Bengal FC prepares to navigate the challenges of the Super Cup, the anticipation within the club and among its devoted supporters is marked by a fervent belief in the team’s ability to emerge triumphant on the grand stage.

“The atmosphere inside the dressing room is still positive” Thangboi Singto of Hyderabad FC speaks ahead of the Kalinga Super Cup

Hyderabad FC, amidst a challenging phase attributed to internal club issues, enters the Super Cup with a determined spirit, aiming to rejuvenate and reclaim their form. The team acknowledges their recent struggles but views the Super Cup as a pivotal opportunity for a resurgence. Despite facing internal challenges, Hyderabad FC is steadfast in their commitment to leveraging this tournament as a platform for refurbishment.

Singto speaks exclusively on the mood of the camp and Hyderabad FC’s ambitions from the Kalinga Super Cup 2024. He added, “I have consistently emphasized the positive atmosphere within our dressing room, underscoring the unity and camaraderie among the players. The upcoming tournament holds a distinct significance for us as it provides a platform to showcase the talents of our younger players who have had limited game time thus far. Our primary objective is not only to participate in the second match but to focus wholeheartedly on the upcoming fixture. The immediate priority is the match scheduled for tomorrow, and our attention will be devoted entirely to that encounter. “

Singto also added on the young brigade of the club as their main core for the Kalinga Super Cup 2024, “With a relatively youthful squad at our disposal, our aim is to offer these emerging talents a chance to compete against Spain, presenting them with valuable exposure and experience. While our primary focus is on the immediate challenge, we are committed to giving our best on the field and instilling a competitive spirit within our young players. As we approach tomorrow’s match, the emphasis lies not just on the result but on the developmental journey of our budding talents in the context of international football.

As they navigate through this transitional period, the club looks to harness the potential of the Super Cup, utilizing it not only as a competitive arena but also as a catalyst for internal renewal and the rekindling of their footballing prowess. The players, coaching staff, and management are united in their collective pursuit of a positive transformation, and the Super Cup serves as the ideal canvas for Hyderabad FC to redefine their narrative and chart a course towards success.

Follow IFTWC for more updates on Indian football.

Ishayu Gupta
Ishayu Gupta
Mohun Bagan, Madrid and more!

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