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Dempo clash with Air India sans medio Climax
November 24, 2012
MARGAO: After an away defeat at the hands of lowly placed ONGC, defending champions Dempo will be hoping to get back to winning ways and bring cheers to
the home crowd when they take on Air India in an I-League encounter at Nehru Stadium, Fatorda, Saturday, at 5.30 p.m.
“The morale of the players is high and I am confident that they will play to win,” said Custodio Almeida, Dempo manager after the training session at Sangolda ground, Friday. “We will go all out for a win and I hope the boys will give their best,” added Almeida. Dempo currently have 13 points from six matches.
“The huge loss against ONGC last week has not dampened our spirits,” Almeida told Herald. Central defender Mahesh Gawli and striker Joaquim Abranches have recovered from their injuries and will figure in the playing 16. However, Dempo will miss Nigerian striker Koko Sakibo due to an injury. Dempo will also miss former international midfielder Climax Lawrence on account of a two match suspension imposed by AIFF, but Almeida is not too worried as Godwin Franco will come in place of Climax.
Coached by Armando Colaco, the defending champions have got plenty of stars in their ranks including Japanese striker Ryuji Sueoka, midfielders Clifford Miranda, Anthony Pereira, striker Joaquim Abranches and goalkeeper Subhasish Roy Chowdhury to name a few. Almeida said they will play their usual game and try to create chances. “We have to stay focussed,” he emphasised.
On the other hand, Air India coach Anthony Fernandes is hoping that good fortune will finally smile on his team and hopes to get a lucky win on Saturday. “We are searching for our second win. We have been down in the last four rounds. We have been playing well but we tend to lose our focus and concentration. The players require to stay focussed throughout the match,” stressed Anthony. The visitors will have to do without defender Pratesh Chowdhury and goalkeeper Harshad due to injuries. Foreigners Henry and Junior will be available for the clash against the defending champions. They will garner local support thanks to the presence of midfielder Miccky Fernandes and central defender John Dias.
“Dempo are a set team and have the advantage of playing in front of their supporters. They have quality players in their ranks and we hope to play to our potential. The boys are all charged up like always and are looking to give their best,” he said. Air India have three points and are lying at the bottom.