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The defending champions look a shadow of the side from last season and are struggling to find their feet in this campaign…

Churchill Brothers went down to Pune FC 1-0 on the weekend to compile further misery on the woes of the Red Machines who have just two points to their name after five rounds of matches.

Coach Mariano Dias believes that his side gave a decent account of themselves against the Red Lizards despite the defeat.

“We have been playing well. We played well even after conceding the goal and we've committed one defensive mistake which was a foul on our player. And that was a foul given by the referee after the ball was played by Denzil [Franco]. But the overall performance was good. The only thing was that we could not score,” he said.

Denzil Franco had fouled Nikhil Kadam and from the ensuring free-kick Calum Angus scored the only goal of the match. However Dias didn’t believe that the referee got his decision correct.

“I don't know whether it was a foul or not because after Denzil played the ball, the opponent (Pune FC player) pushed him down and that was [given in PFC's favour],” he opined.

Dias explained that it was a ploy to start on a defensive note as Churchill hardly attacked the Pune FC citadel until they conceded a goal.

“We played as a team. We were playing a different system as compared to the previous four matches and we performed quite well. We had a plan to start cautiously and build up our attack and because we were down in the second half we started attacking more,” he said.

Churchill’s foreign players haven’t delivered as yet as chief amongst them has been Syrian striker Ahmed Al Kaddour who after being brought on as a substitute was substituted again. The player expressed his frustration by heading straight into the dressing room instead of the dugout.

“He (Al Kaddour) was not actually in his good form. I could feel that he was not ready for the match,” he said.

Dias stated that his side has to start scoring goals which shall give them the confidence to perform better in the coming games.

“Overall, it was a good match. Pune [FC] also played very good. Actually, we also fared very well. We have to start scoring. Once we start scoring we will get confidence and once we get confidence we will do well. The only thing is that we are missing the goals.”

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