Gokulam Kerala eye first points against Punjab FC in I-League

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Kolkata, Jan 13 (PTI) Putting behind the disappointing start to their campaign, Gokulam Kerala FC would look to return to winning ways when they take on RoundGlass Punjab FC in a Hero I-League match here on Thursday.

Gokulam did not have the best of starts, losing 1-2 to Chennai City FC in their first match, while Punjab defeated Aizawl FC by a solitary goal in their tournament opener.

Gokulam head Coach Vincenzo Annese admitted that they cannot afford to commit the same mistakes which they did against Chennai City.

'The first game was a nervous one for us. We had too many missed passes and we did not keep a lot of possession. It seemed like we were afraid to win. We rushed a lot and this cannot happen in our next match against RoundGlass Punjab FC,' Annese said.

'In the next match, we need to be calm on the ball and play with patience, gauging when we can go forward. We must keep the ball on our feet and stay away from playing long balls.

'They (RoundGlass Punjab FC) have a very good offensive line and they also have one of the best sides to play out from the back. We need to be on our level best to grab a result.' In the match against Chennai City, Gokulam had taken an early lead courtesy Dennis Antwi, but gave away two goals owing to defensive errors.

'We made some mistakes in the last match and we paid for it,' said Gokulam midfielder Mayakannan.

'However we look forward to rectifying our mistakes in the next match. The players have good morale and we are looking for a positive result.' Punjab FC, on the other hand, would look to build on their winning momentum.

'It is very important to keep the momentum going. Once you get the win, that match is over and you look to win the next match. We got back to the drawing board and saw things we could have done better in the win over Aizawl,' said Punjab head coach Curtis Fleming.

'It is a long season ahead and we have to concentrate to keep our basics and trust in the quality we have. We are expecting a very difficult game (against Gokulam Kerala FC) and every team in the Hero I-League is capable of giving a tough challenge,' he said.

'In this Hero I-League season, we are going to do a pre-planned rotation where we get the most out of each player. We have to keep our fitness levels high as well because the games are coming in quick.' PTI SSC SSC AH AH