Q: When you arrived at the end of the first leg of the 2018-19 Premier League season, Mohammedan doubled down. Then the fear of depression came to the fore. How do you feel when you see Mohammedan raising his head?
Shawn Lane: It’s a pleasure. I came and probably got 19-20 points in the second round of the league. Seba was ninth in the Mohammedan League with 25 points.
Q: Mohammedan was doing well in the league that was abandoned in Corona in 2020. 4 wins in 6 matches with 12 points. Where Bashundhara’s point was 10 …
Shawn Lane: We would have done better if that was the league. But the league did not happen in Corona. Then when the game started, we got to the semifinals of the Federation Cup. With 28 points from 15 matches in the league, he is now in joint three with Sheikh Russell. Abahani and Sheikh Jamal are joint second with 32 points. And Bashundhara Kings is far ahead with 43 points. This passage has created new hope in the minds of Mohammedan supporters.
Mohammedan has taken a new turn after the casino scandal. When I arrived, club football was on the decline. Now new gym equipment has arrived at Mohammedan Club. There is a new medical room. The equipment has grown there.
Shaun Lane, coach of Mohammedan
Q: Mohammedan has been drowning in leadership weakness in recent years. Survived to be relegated once in the league, which was an extreme shame for the club. How do you see today’s passage from that situation?
Shawn Lane: This turning point in Mohammedan is great news for Bangladeshi football. Doing Mohammedan well means new hope in the country’s football.
Q: Many are saying, is it possible for Mohammedan to be a league runners-up now?
Shawn Lane: Absolutely possible. But we also have challenges ahead. We have to be consistent. We won 2-1 with Arambagh before the break but did not play well at all in the match. Sheikh Russell also had a lot of problems in the winning match. The match against Abahani will start on June 22 and Bashundhara on June 26. I will work on these two matches for the next four weeks.
Question: Mohammedan is not one before and after the casino incident in September 2019. What kind of change do you see working?
Shawn Lane: Honestly, I’m seeing huge changes. The club has taken a new turn after the casino scandal. When I arrived, club football was on the decline. Now new gym equipment has arrived at Mohammedan Club. There is a new medical room. The equipment has grown there.
Defense: The new board of directors has come to Mohammedan. What kind of support are you getting?
Shawn Lane: The new leadership understands where the money needs to be spent. Mohammedan’s money flow has increased a lot. This is the biggest change I see in the club. Not much could be done in the financial crisis before the casino. Being done now.
Q: How is that?
Shawn Lane: Mohammedan has become 100 percent stronger organizationally. Football Chairman Golam Mohammad Alamgir Saheb, Editor Abu Hasan Chowdhury Prince are very helpful. Manager Imtiaz Ahmed Naqib is actively working. Only one of our 30 players is injured now because the medical staff did their duty properly.
Defense: You used to take care of everything from home in Australia even though you were not in Dhaka recently. I mean, he was with the team from …
Shawn Lane: I used to instruct the team management every day. I used to talk to the players every day before the match started. I would also talk on WhatsApp during the break of the match. I used to watch matches on TV. Assistant coach Alfaz has taken everything well.
Q: Where do you want to take Mohammedan in the coming days?
Shaun Lane: If you can stay in the league two times, you will have the opportunity to play in the AFC Cup. That is my goal for now.