Kolkata: Mohun Bagan's I-League-winning coach Sanjoy Sen on Tuesday stepped down, taking full responsibility of his side's shocking loss to a 10-man Chennai City FC at their home ground.
Already under pressure after a hat-trick of draws, Sen's worst fears came true today when Mohun Bagan suffered I-League season's first loss at the hands of the unfancied southern outfit who were reduced to 10 men in the 34th minute.
Chennai City took a sixth minute lead through Frenchman Jean-Michel Joachim before Ansumana Kromah levelled it 1-1 from a penalty after Pradeep Mohanraj handed the ball inside the box.
Veniamin Shumeyko then headed home the winner in the 71st minute to script the first big upset of I-League this season. "I can't say about the team, but it is the end of the road for me. It is the right time to take responsibility on my shoulders and move away from the club," Sen said at the post- match press conference.
"This is the first home match I lost. I tried a lot, I do not have the mentality to continue after this loss and three home draws where we could not come back. I can't deny that," Sen said at Mohun Bagan tent.
Having kicked off their campaign in style, Mohun Bagan beat arch rivals East Bengal 1-0 in the Kolkata derby but their title aspirations have dwindled. They are now at fifth place in the league table with 10 points from seven matches.
Terming this a personal decision, Sen said: "Nobody sacked me, this is a personal decision. I should not continue as the supporters also have emotions attached with the club and I just cannot keep on making the fans unhappy. I'm not fit to continue.
"Before I was sacked, I think I have taken the right decision. As Gerard Houllier said 'you are no coach unless you are sacked?," he said. This was the second match in a row that Mohun Bagan played at their home venue, as I-League came to Kolkata Maidan for the first time in history.
But the first resulted in a draw -- against a 10-man Indian Arrows, the developmental side of AIFF -- and the fans had put pressure, shouting 'go back Sanjoy Sen'. "I had decided beforehand that I will step down if we lose today. I have taken the wise decision. Thank you everyone," the 57-year-old signed off.
Sen was appointed the chief coach for the Mariners in December 2014 after the club parted ways with technical director Subhas Bhowmick and was instrumental in their I-League triumph in the 2014-15.
He had previously been in-charge of Kolkata clubs like Mohammedan Sporting and United Sports Club and enjoyed success mostly in Cup competitions. While United SC became runners-up in IFA Shield and Durand Cup under his tutelage, the Black and Whites won the Shield last season. Sen had also led Mohammedan to become the champions of the I-League second division a couple of seasons back.