Chennai desperate for win against Churchill
Coimbatore, Feb 16 (PTI) Chennai City FC will have an uphill task of dislodging Churchill Brothers in their desperate bid to get out of the relegation zone when the two teams square off in an I-League encounter, here tomorrow.
With debutants Gokulam Kerala and Indian Arrows provided immunity from relegation in their debut season, current wooden spooners Chennai, languishing at the bottom with 13 points from 15 matches, have a realistic chance of demotion.
Churchill, currently seventh with 16 points from 14 games are expected to finish mid-table.
Chennai's fate depends on the results elsewhere as well but what the Southerners can do as a first step is to take advantage of Churchill Brothers' current poor form.
The back-to-back defeats of the Goan giants might just help them sneak in with an outside chance of victory.
However, after a decent start to the year, Alfred Fernandes has seen his team succumb to two away defeats in their last two games.
Indian Arrows stuck late to register a comeback win and NEROCA scored an 86th-minute winner. Churchill will be looking to put an end to the trend of conceding late goals when they play Chennai City.
"It is the business end of the I-League and there are a lot of things involved in the I-League. The season end is always a scary thing. No team is relegated until the last match is played," said Fernandes.
"Last two matches could have gone either way. In the Arrows match, we were in a winning position until the 90th minute. Two silly errors cost us two goals."
Fernandes' team will be looking to prevent defensive errors against a Chennai City side eager to obtain points at home.
Home ground is where Chennai City have struggled this season - they are yet to win at home.
"Tomorrow there is a chance for us because their (Churchill Brothers) team is very tired. It is a golden opportunity for us to win. We don’t want to lose the chance as they are already tired," said Soundararajan, head coach of Chennai City.
The fixture involving Churchill is Chennai's sixth straight match at home, a run that has so far yielded four draws and a loss. The Southerners are running out of time and that makes winning against a team that has just three points more than them even more important.
"We want to win the match in front of our fans in Coimbatore. My players are giving their best. It is not like they aren’t trying. They are doing their best but not getting the results. I told them to work hard and they have realised now