There have been a lot of injuries - Dempo SC's Mauricio Afonso

The former India international was filling in for head coach Armando Colaco in the 2-2 draw against Churchill Brothers SC...
Mauricio Afonso was pleased with Dempo SC's performance in the last match against Goan rivals Churchill Brothers SC which broke the Golden Eagles' losing streak of five matches, on Wednesday.

The defending I-League champions are currently fifth in the standings, two points behind Prayag United SC, with 36 points and have two matches to go before the end of the season. "If we win these two matches, reasonable standing I can say," Afonso commented.

"There have been a lot of injuries, but I have to appreciate my players for giving their best match [against Churchill Brothers]. Especially Peter [Carvalho] and Selwyn [Fernandes] - they were every time shuffled. Like, Peter was playing as a stopper-back today - originally he is a midfielder," said the assistant coach.

"Not that I am individually praising anyone, but I appreciate the team who played well after a long time," he added, given that his side have so far picked only seven points in the second half of the league.

As such, Afonso continued, "The first half of the season, we (Dempo) were very good, and then there were a lot of injuries, we didn't have a single stopper-back, but the players have managed and have given their best."

Samir Naik had only just returned from a lengthy injury lay-off, but the right back has to sit out for the next match against East Bengal as he now has four yellow cards to his name, along with midfielder Climax Lawrence, while defender Cresson Antao will however return after serving his one-match ban.

Meanwhile, with head coach Armando Colaco missing from the technical area, Afonso revealed, "The head coach's health is a concern. He is not well so I am filling in."

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