Dempo SC followed up their win against Pailan Arrows with an unconvincing display against Mumbai FC, as the two teams settled to a 0-0 draw.
Armando Colaco though was a content man after the game and commented, “I am happy going away with one point. It is an away game and sometimes things don’t go to plan. Our forwards are used to play in a set pattern. While we want to play our usual style but some confidence has been lost after the 5-1 defeat by the hands of Pune, but we will get there soon.”
The Goan did not feel his team suffered due to the lack of foreigners in their line-up, as only Koko Sakibo took to the field, with the other 3 recruits from abroad missing out due to varying reasons. The veteran coach stated, “I don’t think like that. I don’t want to hurt the players that are here by talking of those not here.”
“While it is always good to have foreigners, it is also not as easy for them to play here as some of them think. If Indian players follow the right diet and work on their physique, I'm sure they could compete against some of the best,” Colaco went on to add.
Speaking over the show-cause notice issued to Rohan Ricketts for his outbursts on Twitter where he singled out Colaco's off the field antics which have hurt his spirit, the coach said, “Yes, the management has taken a decision (to suspend him). I have been with Dempo from the start and have been with 3 generation of Dempo’s and they know who I am. So if a guy comes and says rubbish about me, then it is unwarranted. Football should be the winner.”
“If one of the senior players had said this, we could have had a discussion. But despite all his talk, aren’t we top of the table? Haven’t we won it all? Who is Rohan Ricketts to talk about all this? He should have kept his mouth shut and concentrated on his game,” Colaco continued.
Ricketts claimed that the coach was at the core of the problems he faced and even mentioned that he wasn’t the only player unhappy with the veteran coach.
The Dempo SC coach though revealed how affected he was by the issue, and went on to blame the former Arsenal player for trying to create issues within the squad.
“I love football and that keeps me going. I told my Chairman I will leave football because of the problems he (Ricketts) created, but he said no. He has been the one player who has poisoned the brains of some of the other players. Now we can’t satisfy everyone in a big squad and there are some disgruntled elements always there.”
Colaco also mentioned that the Goan club are set to release Ghanaian defender Stephen Offei and will be signing striker Johnny Menyongar, who was with Shillong Lajong last season, in his place.
“Offei came from Israel and then he went back to Ghana and did not practice; now he is finding his feet again but we will release him. We are trying to register Menyongar as he suits our style better,” said the 59-year old.
On being questioned if he would be looking to find a replacement for Ricketts as well, Colaco stated, “See we are a company with a budget and in-between the season, we have to go the board, if we need a player. If they approve, great, else we play with what we have.”
Mohun Bagan’s suspension means that there might be a few re-arrangements to be made on the league table. When asked about the issue, Colaco was non-commital, but did feel that Mohun Bagan will be missed.
“Well I can’t comment on it, besides how will my opinion change anything? The AIFF (All India Football Federation) have taken their decision. But I feel the likes of Dempo, Salgaocar, Churchill, Mohun Bagan and East Bengal add charm to this league,” he concluded.
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