I-League: Minerva eyes an upset against Bengaluru FC

Minerva FC and Bengaluru FC shared spoils when the teams met earlier in the season in Bengaluru after Sandesh Jinghan netted an own goal to gift Minerva the crucial away point.

(Frome left to right) Souvik Das, Surinder Singh, Albert Roca and Nishu Kumar at the press-conference.   -  I-League Media

High-flying Minerva Punjab FC takes on Bengaluru FC in the twelfth round of Hero I-League 2016-17 at the Guru Nanak Stadium in Ludhiana on Sunday.

Minerva FC and Bengaluru FC shared spoils when the teams met earlier in the season in Bengaluru after Sandesh Jinghan netted an own goal to gift Minerva the crucial away point.

Surinder Singh, coach of Minerva, attended the pre-match press conference along with midfielder Souvik Das and on being asked about Minerva’s debut season in the I-league said that his team had struggled hard in the initial stage but has come up strongly from the bottom of the table to the sixth position and stay unbeaten for the last six games.

“We have drawn against Bengaluru FC at their fortress and tomorrow’s game is very important for us and all three points are very crucial for us,” said the coach.

Speaking about Minerva’s tough schedule ahead of playing three games in six days, Surinder Singh stated that he would not rest or save players but would hit the gas right away against Bengaluru FC to upset the reigning champion.

Souvik Das, the former Sporting Club De Goa midfielder, mentioned, “It (Churchill game) was an important game in Goa and we were happy to score goals one after another and this victory definitely boosted the morale of the players as well as the team.”

Albert Rocca represented the visiting team along with Nishu Kumar, the fluent Punjabi speaking member of the Blues squad.

Albert Rocca confidently stated, “Tomorrow is an important game for us and we are definitely going for the win”. He also added that the ground isn’t much suited for the team’s style of play, but surely it will adapt to the conditions.

About Bengaluru FC adding strength to its squad in Serbian Marjan Jugovic, Rocca stated,” In our recent games, we have had most of the possession, but we failed to score and we have missed our chances. Jugovic is here to help the team and we will make our changes to the squad such that it earns us points”.

Finally about asked where he would want to see his team at the end of the season, Rocca said that right now the team is not in a good position in the table and it will focus on the AFC Cup and also look to push the team up the I-League table towards its objective of retaining the title.

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