Sunday shall witness a clash of two sides who are struggling this season in the I-League. Salgaocar FC and DSK-Shivajians occupy the bottom two spots on the standings and win for either side will certainly go a long way in boosting their flailing confidence.
DSK-Shivajians have scored the least number of goals this season, alongside Shillong Lajong (two) while they also have the worst goal difference in the I-League (-7).
“We didn’t get a proper pre season. That's the reason there have been a lot of injuries. I am trying to sign new players but the problem is fitness and quality. There are options but I think it is better to work with youngsters and give them chance. It's a tight situation for me. If a player is 100 per cent and has quality then I will sign him,” said coach Derrick Pereira.
Pereira will miss the services of experienced custodian Subrata Paul who has a thigh injury while Mohammed Rafi is back in contention for a start.
“I think we didn’t get a lot of time against Bengaluru to prepare. We didn’t get time to recover, we created chances but there was no sharpness.
“We had a bad result in our last match (against Bengaluru FC) and I won’t say much about it. We have a lot of injury problems and the goalkeeper (Paul) has some problem and he won’t play. We are getting back and are hopeful we can improve from now. Rafi is back for this game,” said the former Salgaocar FC coach.
He stressed that his side have defensive concerns going into the game and that he won’t push the players into the starting eleven until they are completely fit.
“This game is important for both teams. We have a problem at the back and we will see who all are fit. Don’t want to push players until they are 100 per cent fit. There are young players like Sajid (Dhot), Malvin (Lobo) and Rohan (Adnaik) who might get a chance,” he said.
After having guided Salgaocar FC to safety last season on the final day of the season, Pereira opined that the Greens have a number of good players in their squad despite them being ninth on the table.
“Earlier Salgaocar used to carry on with the same coach. I don't know what they were thinking this time. I feel they had some close results. They are a good side and have good players like (Darryl) Duffy, Jacki (Singh) and Karanjit (Singh). It will be tough for both teams because we both are under pressure,” he mentioned.