Having registered their first full points in the season last week, the Goan outfit will look to continue in the same vein...
Churchill Brothers SC will take to field knowing that they cannot afford any more slip ups. Having changed their set of foreign players, they looked a revamped outfit in their last tie against Sporting Clube de Goa which they won 3-2.
Despite being rested in round 12 of the 13-team I-League, the club's technical director, Subhash Bhowmick isn’t entirely sure if his players have recovered from niggling injuries.
"I can only say that we're ready or not after seeing the injuries," Bhowmick told Goal.
"I'm not in a hurry for the fourth foreign signing because we're already on the verge of finishing the first leg of fixtures in the I-League," he added.
After having guided Churchill to win their second I-League title, Bhowmick’s contract wasn’t renewed and instead Sukhwinder Singh was roped in as the technical director. Following some poor performances, the former national coach was given the boot and Bhowmick was sent an SOS.
"I'm used to being called upon when a team is in trouble. In the last few years, when I came to Churchill [Brothers], they were in trouble.
"When I came to Salgaocar [FC], when they were in trouble they called me. When I joined Mohun Bagan, they were in the relegation zone. Even the last time I was at East Bengal, I joined them when they were in trouble."
Midfielder Micky Fernandes will be available for selection after serving his suspension while the new foreigners - Abdelhamid Shabana, Yasser Shahen and Naser Al Sebai - will be expected to put in a top performance against the southern outfit, Bengaluru FC.
Ashley Westwood’s side, who are riding high after consecutive wins against Salgaocar FC and Shillong Lajong, return to Goa for a second time in less than two weeks.
“This is our second trip to Goa in ten days, the climate is not the easiest and there’s the added toughness of playing Churchill [Brothers] who have turned their form around and will surely prove tough opponents,” Westwood said.
The Blues play four games in the next 15 days and Westwood wants to make sure his team gets the maximum points.
“We are in good form ourselves but it’s important that the lads remain hungry and focused,” he added.
Skipper Sunil Chhetri would face his former club with whom he won the league last season while fellow striker Robin Singh’s work rate has been impressive in the last two games that he has started. Strengthening Bengaluru FC’s potent strike force is the return of the club's top scorer Sean Rooney who has recovered completely from the calf strain that kept him out of the Salgaocar game.
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