BY ANSELM NORONHA Follow @apnoronha on twitter
Churchill Brothers SC played a goalless draw with Mohun Bagan at the Duler stadium last Saturday, in a round two match of the I-League 2013-14.
The Goan team's coach, Mariano Dias highlighted that injuries are a major concern for his side with two of his foreigners taking to the field of play despite not being in optimum fitness.
"Hugo [Machado] was still not fully recovered. He tried to play with an injury and that is how (why) he was substituted. Henri [Antchouet] also played with an injury," he said.
"Yes (injuries are a concern), especially with our main midfielder Hugo. He has a very bad injury on his [right] thigh and I hope he recovers faster," Dias added. According to sources close to Goal, the Portuguese hadn’t trained with the team until a day before the match.
With regard to the substitution of midfielder Micky Fernandes in the 86th minute, who had himself come on as a substitute in the 55th minute, the Churchill coach conceded that it was a tactical change.
"Micky didn't have an injury. It was a tactical change because he already had a yellow card. We didn't want to get a red card and play with a man less," he said. Micky has so far picked two yellow cards in as many matches.
Churchill’s title defense hasn’t begun on the right note having garnered just a point from their opening two fixtures. Dias however opined that his team dished out a better performance than the one against Salgaocar FC, a game they lost 1-0.
"I'm happy with the full performance (against Mohun Bagan). Only thing [is that] we missed four clear chances in front of the goal. Compared to the last match, this one was good and we had created a lot of scoring chances - [Thangjam] Saran [Singh] missed two, Jaison [Valles] missed two, Henri missed one. It was a good match. We created a lot of chances, but failed to score," he observed.
Drilled on the lack of effectiveness of their Syrian striker, the coach backed their player to come good in the upcoming matches. "He (Ahmad Al Kaddour) is still not combining well with Henri, but in the later matches he will come up," claimed Dias.
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