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The 59-year-old has ruled out any major dealings in the January transfer window while banking on local talent...

Having secured only eight points from a possible 15 in Dempo SC's last five matches, Armando Colaco has been livid with his side's performance after the 5-1 thrashing they were handed by Pune FC.

"After the drubbing against Pune FC, our confidence and morale had gone down. We had forgotten to play football. Now the boys are putting their best foot forward and giving their best, so I'm happy.

"We were not playing our usual game. There are injuries, but I admire the way the boys played," Colaco sighed a breath of relief following Dempo's 7-0 victory over United Sikkim FC.

Colaco however did point out that his players will need to more clinical in their performance against the stronger sides in the league.

"We (Dempo) scored goals, but also committed mistakes at the back. When you score three or four goals, you tend to take things easily. Most of them started playing individual games. You tend to relax, but we'll not be able to do these things against bigger teams," he said.

The Dempo coach went on to explain his substitutions: "After the score was 4-0, I said let's try some of the youngsters. Johny (John Menyongar) is a new player, so try Johny, in case anything happens to Godwin [Franco] or Climax [Lawrence]. Anthony [Pereira] was not fit, so try young Romeo [Fernandes]. I also wanted to replace Clifford [Miranda] with Nicolau [Borges], but I had no substitutions. Nicolau had played well in Shillong," he mentioned.

Can Prathamesh Maulingkar be a long-term replacement for Mahesh Gawli?

Mahesh Gawli has been ruled out for upto six weeks having sustained an injury to his right knee, while the Goan club has roped in Pailan Arrows' defender Prathamesh Maulingkar.

"I'm thinking about Prathamesh because he a good asset to the team. The good thing in my team is that my bench strength of Goan players is very strong, like Godwin and Romeo. We are a company which has a limited budget. So, we don't want to spend too much on transfers at the moment," he added.

Meanwhile, Churchill Brothers' goalless draw with Mumbai FC on Friday means that the gap between the Red Machines and the defending I-League champions is now cut down to five points.

"There's a long way to go in the league," Colaco stated. "Anything can happen in football. If Real Sociedad can beat Barcelona, it shows that no team is invincible. Tomorrow if we beat Churchill [Brothers], we will close the gap between us."

Dempo's next match will be round 18 Sunday fixture against ONGC FC as the Goan remains upbeat. "We will try to get these three points as the boys played well in the last game also, despite having so many injuries."

Given that the I-League action has been shifted to the AstroTurf surface of the Duler stadium in Goa, he also mentioned, "Everybody says this ground looks beautiful, but as I have said before, the granules will take time to settle. Only after six months you'll be able to play beautiful football on this field."

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