Arrows, Lajong seek fresh starts on Boxing Day

Indian Arrows and Shillong Lajong FC will look to get back to winning ways when they meet on Boxing Day.

Indian Arrows players in training a day before the clash against Shillong Lajong FC.   -  SPECIAL ARRANGEMENT

Indian Arrows and Shillong Lajong FC, the two youngest outfits, are looking to shrug off their previous defeats and start afresh when they lock horns at the Ambedkar Stadium in New Delhi on Boxing Day.

Indian Arrows, after its stupendous 3-0 win against Chennai City FC in the opening fixture, has suffered three consecutive defeats in the Hero I-League 2017-18 but coach Floyd Pinto feels these are just important lessons to learn.

Read: Subash helps Neroca edge Shillong Lajong

"Although we're coming to this game at the back of a few defeats, tomorrow we're going to start afresh. We would like to reiterate that those defeats always teach us some important lessons. We have to gather those and execute in the right way."

"We are aware of earlier defeats but if you see our matches, our opponents could not run a riot against us. Yes, we conceded silly goals which cost us the matches but they have been very closely-fought contests until now", Arrows gaffer Floyd Pinto said at the pre-match press conference.

He also stressed that the 'developmental process' is quintessential for these boys than the 'results' in the long run.

"Yes, results are what we play for but for these boys, the playing time and experience is mostly required. They would love to play any opponent on a given day, be it Lajong or Mohun Bagan. Trust me, they're the toughest bunch of boys which I've worked with so far. They've endured a lot and they're learning every day."

Ninthoi also echoed the same while addressing the media.

"We're learning every day. After the World Cup, it's a platform where we're playing against senior players and we're enjoying the exposure. We've to be always on our toes and learn the nuances to be at the top of our game."

Shillong Lajong is coming on the back of a slender defeat against Neroca FC at home but coach Bobby Nongbet feels it was nothing but an 'unlucky affair'.

"We were the better team on the pitch but unfortunately we ended up on the losing side. It happens in football and you have to move on. We're here and were thinking nothing less than a win tomorrow", Nongbet clearly said.

Meanwhile, Lajong skipper Samuela Lalmuanpuia is not going to start tomorrow owing to an injury which aggravated only after the Neroca FC match two days back.

The match will kick off at 02:00 PM and it'll be telecast live on Star Sports 2, 2 HD and streamed live on Hotstar, Jio TV.