I-League Preview: Lajong looks to maintain home run against Churchill

Churchill Brothers comes to the tie on the back of a goal-less draw against bottom-ranked Minerva Punjab and surely has its task cut out against the in-form Lajong which is known to be deadly at its fortress, Shillong.

Churchill Brothers will surely have its task cut out against the in-form Lajong which is known to be deadly at its fortress, Shillong.   -  H. Vibhu

After winning three matches on a trot at home, Shillong Lajong F.C. would not want to settle for anything less than a victory when it takes on Churchill Brothers at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in Shillong on Sunday.

While Lajong is currently at the top half of the points table, Churchill, with five points so far, is at the bottom half. Despite an indifferent season, the Goan side would look to draw succour from its win over defending champions Bengaluru F.C. last month.

The visitor comes to the tie on the back of a goal-less draw against bottom-ranked Minerva Punjab and surely has its task cut out against the in-form Lajong which is known to be deadly at its fortress, Shillong.

However, at the pre-match conference, Lajong gaffer Thangboi Singto said, “Though winning always renders that extra motivation, it’s a thing of the past now and we have a new match to play tomorrow.”

Despite his side’s recent successes, Singto has continued to maintain a very cautious approach to each tie and has yet again warned his players against complacency.

“People might think that Churchill have had little time to prepare (and will be easy to beat), but they have a good bunch of footballers in their ranks and it will be a tough game,” he said.

The composed Lajong head coach also gave full credit to his boys stating “I have full confidence on the team at the moment“. Replying to a query, Singto admitted that at times a bit of complacency does seep into his young side once the team is ahead.

“I think this is something which would change once they gain some more game experience later in the league,” Singto said. Churchill Brothers manager Denzil Ferrao, meanwhile, said tomorrow’s tie will be a tough outing for his side.

Ferrao said that the season has been very challenging for his team which was put together barely five days before the start of the I-League.

“Getting the combination right has been pretty difficult so far but I am sure we will do well as the season progresses,” he said.

For Lajong, Zodingliana will continue to be on the bench, and Bipin Singh is a doubtful starter. Dan Ignet is fit to go and might get a game tomorrow. On the other hand, Churchill will miss the services of Fulganco Cardozo.

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