'Sunil Chhetri hasn't played his best till today for Churchill' - Mariano Dias

The Red Machine continued their quest for the I-League title with a resounding 3-0 win over a hapless Air India, and have a game in hand....
Churchill Brothers are looking the real deal this season as they continued to pile the pressure on leaders East Bengal with a 3-0 win over Naushad Moosa's Air India. The Red Machine's foreign contingent of Beto and Henry Antchouet ensured that the Goans do not lose sight of their title rivals.

Coach Mariano Dias was no doubt a happy man at the post-match briefing.

"I'm happy with the performance as well as happy to get the three points," said the Goan.

On being asked about new signing Lamine Tamba who has replaced defensive lynchpin Bilal Najjarine at the heart of the Churchill defence, the coach felt that the Senegalese is a work in progress.

"We still have to work on his fitness because he hasn’t got that. And after fitness, we have to see how he click with the team," opined Dias.

Churchill have been in the news owing to India striker Sunil Chhetri's arrival on loan from Sporting Lisbon B. "Sunil still has to combine and still has to perform up to the level. He hasn’t played his best till today. He has played three matches," said Mariano.

                                                           Chhetri tracking back

On being asked as to why Chhetri had to drop back often during the game, Dias responded, "That is the plan actually, when the opponent has the ball, he has to fall in the centre line. Once we get the ball, he has to move forward," explained the former India assistant coach. 

The Goans are in action again on March 23 this time against ONGC FC, who like Air India, are set to be banned from the I-League from next year.

"Next match is against ONGC where we have to get 3 points. We are not thinking about other teams. But for us, every match is very important. We are not bothered by other team’s results. We have to see how we go through match-by-match. So every match is important for us," stressed Dias.

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