Goa [India], Apr.14 (ANI): Aizawl FC, who have already earned huge accolades for their stunning show week after week to come up as a serious title contender this season, are gearing up for the Churchill test in the I-League at the Tilak Maidan here on Saturday.
The visitors, who have stunned every single critic to challenge for the coveted I-League title, have made to bite the dust at the Sree Kanteerava stadium against the Blues last week, thanks to the solitary goal scored by Marjan Jugovic in the added minutes. On the other hand, following a not-so-impressive start to the season, the Goan boys have recuperated well under the tutelage of the seasoned coach Derrick Pereira.
The Red Machines, even, went on to put a halt on Mohun Bagan's unbeaten run in the I-League before they beat the Red and Golds at their backyard itself. But, the gaffer opts to stay focused before taking on Aizawl FC in the next match and does not shift his focus at all.
"We're still not very safe from the relegation zone and tomorrow's three points will definitely be a huge boost for us. I have asked my boys to give their best tomorrow on the pitch and by God's grace, we'll surely get a positive result."
On being asked how's the dressing room has been since their resurgence of late, Derrick mentioned, "The boys are responding well. They are pulling off together. Although I can't deny a few niggle is there, but mostly we're well-equipped before tomorrow's game."
Meanwhile, Keenan Almeida is out of tomorrow's clash because of his automatic suspension, but the rest of the squad is rearing to give it a shot tomorrow.
He lauded Aizawl FC's valiant effort wholeheartedly as well, "Last year they struggled but see, how they have come up the ranks this year. They've got three outstation players Albino, Jayesh and Ashutosh and the local boys- whatever Khalid has done with the squad, is just unimaginative."
He added more, "I've seen a few games of Aizawl FC. They fight for every single ball, they put pressure on their opponent. Even in the 90th minute, their energy level remains so high, it's truly applaudable."
Aizawl FC coach Khalid Jamil can't afford to be complacent before this match and he rightly reiterates so in the pre-match press conference today.
"We can't take this match lightly. Churchill have beaten Mohun Bagan, East Bengal, Bengaluru FC. We're on a good run until now, we have to finish this job, hence we need all three points tomorrow."
The ex-Mumbai FC coach praised his boys for their fighting spirit and their ability to take a game by the scruff of the neck, "They have believed in themselves, hence we're here. We have backed ourselves always, even before taking on the bigwigs of Indian Football."
"After so many positive results, now we're left with only three matches where the dream can be fulfilled otherwise everything will fall astray. We're still in the title race and we hope to pull it off nicely", Khalid Jamil concluded.(ANI)