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I-League 2017: Soundararajan intends using Manipuri players to his advantage against NEROCA

10:19 AM EST 12/14/17
V Soundararajan Chennai City FC I-League 2017
The gaffers of both the sides have listed their own reasons to go for a win in Friday's I-League encounter

The state of Manipur will witness its first I-League match as NEROCA FC play hosts to Chennai City FC at the Khuman Lampak Main Stadium on Friday afternoon.

Both teams have gained their points against Gokulam Kerala - a 3-0 win for NEROCA and a 1-1 draw by Chennai City - and have lost their respective games 2-1 to Minerva Punjab. Chennai City have also endured a 3-0 loss at the hands of Indian Arrows.

Gift Raikhan, the head coach of the home side, acknowledged the sentimental value of the clash but urged his side to hold on to their emotions when they take to the pitch.

"We will give 100 per cent effort to win the match. We know it’s going to be the first I-League match to be played in our state but we should not get carried away by the occasion. We have to absolutely spot on," he said.

"Chennai (City) FC is a team with good attacking skills and as such three-to-four players of the team will be marked in the defence line to keep them on a check," the former Churchill Brothers left back added.

Raikhan's ambitions were however countered by Chennai City coach V Soundararajan who is looking for their first win of the season.

"We’re not going to lose this tie at any point of time. We know, we had a very tough time until now but tomorrow (Friday) might be our day here, who knows," he quipped.

Given that it's a historic match for the Manipuri outfit, the former India U-19 national team coach also bears in mind that they are coming into the clash having lost two of their previous outings. 

"Our boys have gradually improved from their first outing so far and tomorrow we’re surely going to dish out an impressive show in front of the strong support for Neroca FC.

“We have a strong base and we’ll put more than five Chennai-based players and also the presence of two players from Manipur in the team will have some advantage on the team."

The match will kick off at 2 pm IST.