Koko Sakibo: A victory in the Federation Cup will be a big boost for Dempo

The Dempo frontman believes that it is his time to perform on the pitch against heavyweights East Bengal in the final of the Federation Cup...
Dempo SC striker Koko Sakibo feels that he got an opportunity to "prove himself" in the 34th Federation Cup final against East Bengal.

Playing as the lone foreigner in the squad given that Ryuji Sueoka isn't fit for the final, the Nigerian thinks that it is both good and bad for him.

"Everybody has to play to score, and so there will be pressure on me to score," the 24-year-old conceded while talking to Goal.com.

"It's not good for me, or not bad for me also. The good side of it is that, it will make me show myself very well, but I think I would need a hard-working foreign player to assist as well."

He was however quick to add, "But the Dempo players are very capable. Without them (foreigners) also we have been playing very good. So it will be much better when they play [when the I-League kicks off]."

Another "final" ahead of us

Koko Sakibo also felt that Dempo SC's semi-final clash against Salgaocar FC was nothing short of a final. "For me, I think our (Dempo's) last game against Salgaocar was much like a final. You can't predict what will happen [against East Bengal]," he said.

"East Bengal is a very strong team. Last season we played against them. I think thrice, once in the Federation Cup and twice in the I-League. We didn't win any of them, but we drew the last one," he added.

The former Churchill Brothers player continued to scrutinise his side's opponents of Sunday. "I saw their (East Bengal's) game against Churchill [Brothers SC], and it was not the East Bengal I used to see last season," the 24-year-old observed.

He went on to reason, "Maybe because it was the semi-final game and both teams were very cautious of other teams attacking. So I think that's why there was not much attack in the game."

Sakibo concluded by highlighting the importance of beating East Bengal. "A victory in the Federation Cup will be a big boost for us in the I-League as other teams will look up to us as champions."

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