Struggling for the most part in the I-League, defending champions Churchill Brothers SC are now faced with the threat of relegation, but they are looking at their impressive form in the Federation Cup and believe a change in fortune is around the corner.
With the Federation Cup triumph to boost, and that too with an all-win record, Churchill Brothers will seek to carry on with the same form when they meet Rangdajied United FC at the Tilak Maidan in Vasco this afternoon.
“We have to rise up the standings now. After the Federation Cup triumph, the responsibility is more now. I am sure this will be the perfect kind of inspiration for the boys to turn it around in the league,” said coach Mariano Dias.
Churchill Brothers are at the bottom of the I-League with only 13 points. They won just two matches, including their last clash against Mohammedan Sporting Club, and Mariano has told his team to take it one match at a time. “When we re-start, our first aim is to save relegation and finish in the top-six bracket.”
Rangdajied United have fared no better and are just two points ahead of the bottom-placed team. Rangdajied United have played an extra match and are now faced with two crucial, difficult games in Goa. The first, of course, against Churchill Brothers and then Dempo SC awaits them at the weekend.
“There is no other alternative but to win. This is a difficult league but it’s also a very exciting challenge. There is little that separates most of the teams,” said Rangdajied United coach Santosh Kashyap.
Kashyap was bolstered by the fit-again status of all foreigners and will be using his full quota of foreign players for today’s crucial battle.
“We are a different side now. The team that started the I-League is different to what you will see in the second phase I-League. This is a much better team,” said Kashyap.
Kashyap has a tough assignment in Goa with Churchill and Dempo lined-up in quick succession, and the former Mohun Bagan coach is relishing the challenge.
“It’s a huge motivation to be playing against such teams. We believe we have the team that can better both Churchill and Dempo, but we will take one match at a time. Lets’ tackle Churchill Brothers first,” he said.