Bhubaneswar, Mar 31 (PTI) Having defeated Delhi Dynamos in the qualifiers, Churchill Brothers will be eying a second victory when they lock horns with Kolkata giants Mohun Bagan in the in the pre-quarterfinals of Super Cup here tomorrow.
“Yes, we got the sweeter result the other day but it’s a new test tomorrow. We have played Mohun Bagan twice this season but couldn’t garner a single point. We are aware of their football acumen and we respect them,” coach Alfred Fernandes said.
Newly-recruited striker Willis Plaza bombed a brace in the qualifiers to propel the Red Machines to the Round of 16 and he’ll be the ‘trump card’ for the Goan outfit tomorrow as well.
“Yes, you might term him as our trump card. We are in the hunt for the attacking spearhead and he fitted the bill perfectly. But, at the end of the day, it’ll be a team effort and we need to get the job done collectively,” Fernandes said.
Skipper Monday Osagie didn’t mince his words expressing that Churchill have special plans for their counterparts including Dipanda Dicka, who wrapped the season with maximum goals in two consecutive Hero I-League seasons.
“Yes, I know him (Dicka) very well. We played them twice and we all know how dangerous he can be in the box. We are very keen to prove our diligence tomorrow. Dicka is a great player but there are other players too who can be equally dangerous. We have plans not only for him but everyone.” Mohun Bagan’s upsurge in the I-League started late which brought them very close to the title but didn’t end with the laurel. Sankarlal Chakraborty and his team has now shifted its focus to the Super Cup and the coach is now ready for the fresh challenge.
“It’s a tough match tomorrow. The tournament is different from I-League. A silly mistake can dent your journey heavily and it might end your path in the tournament as well. Churchill had a terrific game against Delhi Dynamos in the qualifier, far superior to their performance in the I-League and we have to be very cautious tomorrow,” Chakraborty said.
Although his team boasts of two wins in the I-League against the Red Machines, the coach believes that they are a transformed side who might pose a stiff challenge tomorrow.
“Whatever we did in the I-League, is past and we have already flipped the page. I-league is history and we have to focus on tomorrow’s game now. Churchill played an excellent game against Delhi Dynamos in the qualifier and we have to respect that,” he said.
On being asked to single out a player who might give him a sleepless night, Chakraborty said: “They brought in Plaza and he might wreak havoc on a given day. Foreigners akin to Plaza, Ceesay, Monday are well supported by the Indian players and it has been a dangerous team to play against.” Raynier Fernandes, the young midfielder who combined well with Cameron Watson soaking in the pressure reiterated that they’re not looking into the past and focused on the game ahead.
“Yes, we beat them twice but it starts from the scratch tomorrow. A mistake can cost us the match and we may have to leave Bhubaneswar empty-handed. We are well aware of the fact and are focusing on nothing but tomorrow’s match.” “We won’t go all out in attack from the kick-off, rather we’ll prefer to play a balanced football. We might change our strategies as the game proceeds,” Chakroborty added.
This is published unedited from the PTI feed.