I-League: Bottom-placed Arrows eyes win to revive season

Host Neroca FC, currently sixth, has a chance to propel itself to second with a win by a two-goal margin on Friday.

Neroca FC coach, Manuel Fraile, addressed the media ahead of Friday's I-League match against Indian Arrows.   -  SPECIAL ARRANGEMENT

Neroca FC will have a chance to move up to second spot when it takes on Indian Arrows at Khuman Lampak Stadium on Friday.

Coach Manuel Fraile will be happy with Felix Chidi getting back among the goals. The Nigerian has three goals in Neroca's last three fixtures. With Singham Subash Singh showing glimpses of regaining last season's form and Japanese Yusa Katsumi nearing full fitness, things are looking good for Neroca.

For Floyd Pinto’s Arrows, it has been a tough second season so far after an impressive maiden top-flight season. Four losses in five matches have not done justice to the potential in its ranks.

It has been good in possession but without penetration, finding the net only twice in five fixtures so far. What will also be worrying for the team is it has conceded an average of nearly two goals per match so far (nine goals in five matches).

Speaking on the eve of the match, Neroca coach Fraile said, "To be frank, these Arrows boys are very much similar to Lajong. They are young, they are fearless. Sometimes, they can make more damage than others and we have to be very careful about that."

Responding to a question on Yusa Katsumi’s fitness, Fraile said, "Katsumi is more or less 70% fit now. I am happy to see him back. He is a very important player for us and surely, he’ll play a big part tomorrow again.

"Some of our supporters had travelled to Shillong for our match and we’re really thankful to them. Now, especially for them, we want to win all three points tomorrow," Fraile acknowledged the fans' support.

Fraile's counterpart, Floyd Pinto said, “Neroca always look to play an attacking game. There are a few attack-minded players. We have to be aware of these players and at the same time, we have to play our own game as we did in the last match.

On the string of losses, Pinto said, "Against Real Kashmir and Minerva, we had more possession than our opponents. That is a positive sign but that is not going to win you matches. I am happy that these boys are comfortable on the ball, they are playing with lots of energy.

"Now we have to make decisions at the right time and we have to rectify those silly mistakes on set-pieces. We have to look forward to converting those chances and get clean sheets to earn points”, he added.