Mariano Dias: No special plans to stop Odafa Okolie

The Goan coach isn’t awed at the prospect of facing their former striker who has been in good nick…

GOALBY   ANSELM NORONHA     Follow @apnoronha on twitter

Mariano Dias believes that Churchill Brothers can reach the final of the Federation Cup at the expense of Mohun Bagan whom they face in the semi-final.

Despite being at the bottom of the table in the I-League, Churchill are the only side to have qualified for the final four by winning each of their three group games.

“It really took the players some time to adjust. In fact, now they know the philosophy and how to adapt to the system. What we are achieving [in the Federation Cup] is the result of the same.

“Seeing them play very well and winning all the matches, I have confidence that we are going to go through [to the final],” said Dias.

Churchill have conceded in each of their group games though Dias didn’t look too flustered about it.

“That is part of football, though we have qualified.”

On facing Mohun Bagan in the semi-final, Dias stated that the Kolkata outfit are a strong side and that they have no special plans to keep Odafa Okolie in check.

“It is a big match. Of course, it is Bagan. We have to play Bagan and will play to win. Our boys played well in the weekend [against Shillong Lajong]. I hope they display the same form against Bagan and come out with a victory.

“Of course, they will also play to win. No [special plans] for Odafa. We will play our normal game.”

Churchill haven’t altered their starting eleven much in the tournament, with only two changes being affected in their final match against Pune FC.

“We will play the same eleven (more or less) who played in the last three matches,” revealed Dias.

The Churchill coach was pleased with Anthony Wolfe and that striker Balwant Singh is scoring regularly. He added that the Christian Lagos will add more teeth to their attack when the I-League resumes in February.

“He has done very well in the last two games and scored in the last game. Hope he continues. Now the strikers have been scoring and they have scored in all the three matches. So that's very good.”

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