Armando Colaco: The boys have put in a lot of effort

The Dempo boss lauded his boys’ efforts in what was going to be a tough home game. The champions came out fighting with a courageous display at home.
Defending champions Dempo SC came back from a goal down to win 3-1 in what would have been a tricky encounter against Prayag United. Coach Armando Colaco spoke about an important victory for the club and the problems that a manager has to face with an injury-plagued squad.

The beginning of the first half saw former Dempo star Ranti Martins add another goal to his tally at the Jawaharlal Nehru stadium to hand the visitors the lead. Ryuji Sueoka was on target on the 36thminute as he headed in the equaliser for Dempo from a Clifford Miranda free-kick. Colaco was pleased with his team’s first half showing as he commented, "They scored early, but we hit back. We had a few opportunities to score but we failed to capitalise. The first half was finely balanced."

The second half saw the balance of the match slowly shifting to Dempo’s side as the introduction of Joaquim Abranches in place of Romeo Fernandes in the final moments of the first half seemed justified. The former created all sorts of problems for the Prayag defence as he teased them with quality crosses.

“Romeo has not performed exceptionally well in the past two games, at the same time I thought Abranches deserved a chance. I think the substitution was perfect and it's just a matter of time before Romeo gets back to his best."

One of the major downfalls for the champions this season has been their defence where ansence of key personnel due to injuries have come to hurt them. Their Ghanaian defender Stephen Offei has mentioned earlier that he should be allowed to leave since he has not been registered in the I-League by Dempo SC.

“I can only comment on this in January. We have had problems in defence with Selwyn Fernandes as he had undergone operation and Mahesh Gawli was not fully fit and hence the defender was bought. To add to this Rowilson is injury prone. The only positive is that youngsters like Shallum Pires will get a chance to prove themselves which is always a good thing," said Colaco.

The press had suggested that champions may look to add to their attack in the January transfer window but the Goan coach quickly corrected that statement and said: “I don’t think so. Everyone is scoring goals. My only worry is the midfield, because if anything happens to Climax Lawrence, I will be finished," he said with a smile. He also added, “These are the circumstances that a coach has to face and yes, I will be looking out for midfielders."

Climax Lawrence has been the driving force in Dempo’s midfield and it was the former India skipper who secured the win with the third goal for the Goans. The coach was impressed with the veteran’s performance as he stated, “Climax is a special player, I am proud of him. He is one of those players who can make a decisive pass even in the dying moments of a game”.

Dempo sit pretty on top of the table but have still drawn some criticism over their play. The coach showed his faith and was confident that the players will continue the good work.

“The boys are doing a great job, it is okay if the people criticise us, because we know what we are doing. The boys have put in a lot of effort and I am proud. Besides, all this is part and parcel of the game."

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