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The coach of the north east brigade categorically mentioned that he wouldn’t risk players who aren’t hundred percent fit into the Federation Cup…

Shillong Lajong have made a good start to this season’s I-League campaign as they are placed fourth on the table with another nine matches to play.

Ahead of the Federation Cup which kicks-off on the 14th of this month, Lajong coach Thangboi Singto has ruled out the participation of striker Uilliams Silva who is recovering from a hairline fracture on his heel.

“We started training a bit late due to the festive season of Christmas and New Year. We started in the first week of January but we are a bit concerned about the injuries to our foreigners. Uilliams is doing his rehab and is not yet back to being at his hundred percent. He will miss the Federation Cup.  Minchol Son and Glen Cornell have improved from their niggling injuries. We might field them in the Federation Cup. For now, only Taisuke Matsugae is fit,” said Singto.

When the I-League resumes in the month of February, Singto believes that it would indeed be a challenge for his team to get positive results consistently.

“It’s been a tough season for us. I will give credit to the players but the last nine matches will be crucial where he have to maintain our consistency and performance which is not going to be easy at all. Out of the nine, we have six away matches. We had a lot of draws at home which we couldn’t convert into wins.”

The Lajong gaffer suggests that his team are focused on the I-League and though the Federation Cup is a prestigious tournament, winning it isn’t a priority for him.

“Federation Cup will be a preparation for us for the I-League as that’s where our priority lies. As faar as other teams (Mohun Bagan, Mumbai FC and Salgaocar FC) in our group is concerned, it depends how those coaches are looking at the Federation Cup. Of course it is a prestigious tournament but we have to see the condition of the players we have at the moment.

“We can’t risk them at the Federation Cup and miss them for the rest of the I-League. For my team, though winning is important but I won’t risk them.  We will try to win.”

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