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The Churchill Brothers coach stated that his side are suffering from fatigue due to fixture congestion…

Mariano Dias backed his troops to pull off a win over AFC Cup’s group E leaders Persipura Jayapura on the eve of the tie against the Indonesian champions.

“The match is very important match for us. Having drawn, having won 2 matches and lost 2, this is a very important match to qualify for the next round. We will be going in with determination to come out with a win,” he said.

“Having lost to them away we will take this match very seriously.”

The Goan outfit are facing an injury crisis at the moment with several first team players being ruled out of action.

“We are facing a lot of injuries. As I have said we are playing I-League and the AFC Cup, we have four regular players out of action. Dharmaraj Ravavnan, Lenny Rodrigues, Raju Yumnam and Saran Singh. They will all be out. Satish Singh is suspended.”

On being asked whether they shall miss the services of Cristian Lagos who parted ways with the side for reasons unknown, Dias said, “Yes, because we have only two strikers in Balwant Singh and Anthony Wolfe, and if something goes wrong among the two of we don’t have a striker. In that case we have to bring out Jaison Vales, who will do the duty of the striker. Of course we are missing Lagos at this particular time when we have to play AFC Cup and I-League as well.”

Dias doesn’t believe that the AFC Cup is a distraction given that the Red Machines are focused on resolving their domestic woes where they are at the bottom of the table.

“It is not exactly, because AFC Cup is of a higher level and it’s an good opportunity to play at that level. Since the I-League is also on and there is very little gap between the fixtures, there is a lot of tiredness to travel for home and away matches.”

“We need time to recover and as there is not much time with every third day we have a match. We played on 6th, 9th again we have to come back on 13th. Players need time to recover. If they recover they can give their best. They can play well on the field. We need lot of time to recover.”

Lalit Thapa assured that the dressing room atmosphere at Churchill was fine despite them not being in the best of forms in the I-League.

“They are not reacting much. It is normal. Every game is important whether it’s the I-League or the AFC Cup. It’s our job to do well. Whichever game, even in the practice game we have to our best. It doesn’t matter. For any player and as a player, each and every game is important. Dressing room environment is okay. Everyone is happy.”