The weekend shall see Derrick Pereira face his former side as Salgaocar FC play host to Pune FC in a round ten I-League encounter at the Duler Stadium.
Having spent four seasons at Pune FC where he helped establish the Red Lizards into a force to reckon with in the country’s premier division, he went back to his former side Salgaocar after being handed the task to resurrect the side after a tumultuous last campaign.
And indeed he has with the Green and Whites leading the table after nine rounds of matches. However, Pereira is keen to establish a gap at the top given that Pune FC are breathing down their neck being just a point behind and with a game in hand.
“I want my team to do well. Of course I was involved with Pune FC for four years and now I am with Salgaocar, so there is a different feeling. Wherever I go, I give my hundred percent which is what I did at Pune FC as well. This is a fresh game. There are players there who played under me at Pune and I want Salgaocar to do well in this game especially. For me, it is any other game. However it is important game for us as a team given that they have one match in hand and are just below us.”
Except for the foreign players, most of the players at Pune FC are known to Pereira and would that give him an added advantage going into the tie?
“It’s like you know their strengths and weaknesses but it all depends on how you prepare and how your players cope up. We will definitely prepare to put up a good performance but it depends on the day of the match on how you perform and how every player responds to whatever you are doing.”
There is some good news for Salgaocar fans as Nicolau Colaco is recovering in time to make it for the weekend clash after suffering an ankle injury in the last game against Rangdajied United. Also, Matthew Foschini, the Australian recruit, is expected to debut for the club in the I-League.
“Nicolau Colaco had an ankle injury and has had a couple of light training sessions. Hopefully he should be fit by Friday. Foschini played his first game in the Goa League earlier this week for 65 minutes. He is fit and will get a start on the weekend.”
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