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Goal.com catches up with Dempo skipper Clifford Miranda, as the industrious winger believes that his side will exert pressure on Churchill by winning their games...

Having had a marvellous start to their I-League campaign, Dempo SC seem to have hit a mid-season rut as the defending champions could only fetch 4 points out of a possible 12. Goal.com caught up with Dempo skipper Clifford Miranda for an exclusive chat as the winger reviewed his side’s performance and discussed on how they would go about defending their title.

After starting the season off with a bang, the Goan outfit has seemed out of sorts in their past few outings. A 5-1 thrashing at the hands of Pune FC did not help either. The media has been playing up the five point gap between leaders Churchill Brothers and Dempo, and with Pune FC and East Bengal also in the fray, Armando Colaco's side have some tough competition this season in the title race.

“We have just reached the half way of the season, and there is a long way to go in the title race. Though they have a 5 point lead if we (Dempo) can keep winning all our matches then we can win the title. Hopefully Churchill will feel the title pressure and crumble,” said Miranda.

The I-League’s top goal scorer Ranti Martins, not too long ago used to be Dempo’s number one striker. This summer saw moneybags Prayag United prise away the talented Nigerian and one would definitely feel for the Goan side as they are missing someone of Martins’ capability up front this season.

Miranda acknowledged that fact and said, “Ranti Martins has been prolific ever since he came to India and I will not deny the fact that we do miss someone of his class. The Nigerian has a great goal scoring instinct. We do have a good attacking line though, so it is not much of a problem.”

This season has seen young Romeo Fernandes starting a lot of games for the Goan outfit. Miranda, like everyone else, has been impressed by the youngster and pointed out the midfielder’s potential as he commented, “Romeo is a young and promising player and has got an India call up as well. He still has a long way to go but I am sure he has a bright future.”

The Rohan Ricketts saga has only recently come to an end with the former Tottenham player mutually rescinding his contract with Dempo SC after his second Twitter outburst against his coach Armando Colaco.

“It was a mutual decision between Ricketts and the management. We, as players, cannot comment on it as the decision was mutual and everything is okay," he said.

With the January transfer window open and in full swing one would expect the champions to get in some reinforcements.

“We have a good, strong team in all departments. Another striking option would be a good addition for us, but that is only my opinion,” he signed off.

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