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The defending champions were defeated by Salgaocar FC in round one of the I-League, though their technical director hopes for a better performance from his side...

GOALBY   ANSELM NORONHA     Follow @apnoronha on twitter

Churchill Brothers started their I-League campaign with a defeat to Dempo SC last term where eventually they went on to win the league title. Their start to the 2013-14 season too hasn't been rosy as they went down to Goan rivals Salgaocar FC 1-0 last weekend.

Sukhwinder Singh, the technical director of the side, hopes that their fortunes shall turn this season as well as they gear to face Mohun Bagan on Saturday.

"Maybe that (a win) will happen on Saturday," retorted Churchill's technical director Sukhwinder Singh.

"The first thing in this league (I-League) is that you cannot tag any team as underdogs, and secondly everybody sees Mohun Bagan with respect," the 64-year-old told Goal.

"This is a very tough league. We cannot take results for granted before the match. Our target is to give our best. You cannot say who will get three points or one point or zero."

The Red Machines were without their full strength squad in their loss against Salgaocar as Henri Antchouet was ruled out with an injury. However, Singh has confirmed that the Gabon international will be available for Saturday's clash.

"Henri [Antchouet] will be there. Hugo [Machado] will also be there," he added. Syrian striker Ahmad Al Kaddour is also expected to start against Bagan having come off the bench against Salgaocar last weekend.

Meanwhile, Churchill's right wing back Denzil Franco has also trained with the team on Friday, although Singh suggested that he may opt not to start with the India international. "Denzil Franco has recovered but we may not play him in the first half," he said.

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