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The Moroccan is impressed by the character of his team and backed his side to deliver the goods despite missing the services of their talisman Odafa Okolie...


GOALBY   ANSELM NORONHA     Follow @apnoronha on twitter


Following a difficult start to their I-League campaign where a last gasp goal by CS Sabeeth helped the garner a point, Mohun Bagan coach Karim Bencherifa stated that playing back-to-back matches away from home isn’t an ideal way to commence.

"Every match is a big match. It's (the game against Churchill Brothers) the second match of the season. There is still a long way to go. Of course, we are looking forward to get our first win.

"If you look at the schedule of the I-League, it's not easy to have back-to-back away games. We played in Bangalore, now in Goa, then we go to Kolkata, then we have to go again to Pune."

The Mariners will have a 11-day break after Saturday's clash against the defending champions before they face Pune FC on October 10.

"It's difficult, but I'm very happy with the team," Bencherifa insisted. "The character of the team is there and we'll try our best to get three points [against Churchill].

With Odafa Okolie yet to recover, the Bagan coach admitted that he misses the Nigerian striker’s presence upfront.

"He (Odafa) is the key player for us. He's the one who finishes our chances. Especially when we do create a lot of chances, we need to finish those chances. But, of course, I'm happy with the contribution of Eric [Muranda], [CK] Sabeeth and all the strikers that we have," he said.

"[Manish] Bhargav is also injured. So these (Odafa and Bhargav) are the two injuries that we have," he signed off.

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