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    We value I-League more than AFC Cup: Karim

    New Delhi: Ahead of their AFC Cup match against Al-Wehdat of Jordan on Tuesday, Mohun Bagan coach Karim Bencherifa insists that they are quite serious about the Asian competition but admits that they are more serious about the I-League.

    Kolkata giants Mohun Bagan confront Al-Wehdat at the Howrah Stadium on Tuesday. It is expected to be a good contest and Bagan coach Karim Bencherifa understands this quite well.

    Adressing the media at the Howrah Stadium on Monday, Karim Bencherifa said, "We are in a very tough group. The teams in our group are from countries that are ranked higher than India.

    "Al-Wehdat is a very difficult team, physically as well as technically. It's a tough group but we do have our chances of doing something in the AFC Cup."

    The Bagan coach added, "Al-Wehdat have several national team players in their squad. I rate them higher than the team we played in Syria. They are a very technical team but I think that we can overcome this with our tactics and determination. I am counting a lot on my players; moreover, we are playing at home."

    Mohun Bagan are very much in the hunt for the I-League this season and are expected to rest some of their key players for this match. When asked whether they are taking this AFC Cup match as seriously as they take the I-League matches, the Moroccan remarked, "There is no difference in approach. We play as a team. We have reached a fatigue level in which we cannot play wth the same eleven in all the matches. We are very much serious about the AFC Cup but we are more serious about the I-League."

    Bagan left winger Ishfaq Ahmed too was at the press conference on Monday and sounded quite confident ahead of their clash with the side from Jordan.

    Ahmed said, "If we play this game the same way we play in Syria, then we have a good chance. As professionals, we footballers have to deal with the fatigue. It is our job to play and so we have to deal with it in a professional way."

    Al-Wehdat coach Akram Salmaan too addressed the media on Monday and said, "It would be a competitive match on Tuesday. It should be a good match and we hope to enjoy the match.

    "We have six national team players in our squad. We have come here to win the match and take all three points."

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