Churchill Brothers SC head coach Mariano Dias led his squad to Hong Kong to face Kitchee SC in the AFC Cup on Tuesday, in a group stage encounter. Dias is confident of his team's showing against the opposition, even though he accepts that they are a strong side.
When asked about how he plans to get the three points and start the AFC Cup strongly, he said, "Kitchee is the home team, they are well organised. Moreover, they have a good side that includes four good foreigners."
"It's not so easy to go to Hong Kong with a depleted squad and so little practice. I am keeping my fingers crossed," he was quoted by The Times of India.
Kitchee are not one of Asia's powerhouses, but have shown that they are very prolific when playing in front of their home supporters. European giants like AC Milan, Juventus and Arsenal have tried and fallen against the Hong Kong side during their pre-season tours.
This along with Churchill's lack of knowledge about their opponents will make this trip an even more daunting task for the Goans.
"Our problem is that we have no clue of what Kitchee looks like for the season. We tried procuring some information through DVDs and the internet but it didn't help much," Dias explained.
Churchill’s domestic form has been good, with the Red Machines currently second on the I-League table, one point off leaders East Bengal, but still have two games in hand.
Dias is definitely confident of his side's chances and is hopeful that his new signings Sunil Chhetri, Lamine Tamba and Balal Arezou settle quickly in the squad.
"We are doing well in our domestic league and I am hoping that our boys put up a good show and we get all three points from the match," he concluded.
With technical director Subash Bhowmick opting to stay back at Goa to oversee preparations for the reserve team and Brazilian midfielder Beto out injured, the onus is on Dias to keep the morale up and hope that the Goans get a favourable result.
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