I-League: Gukulam coach urges foreigners to step up against Minerva

File Photo : Bino George
IANS|05-Jan-2018 21:18

Kozhikode, Jan 5 : Debutants Gokulam Kerala FC coach Bino George urged his foreign recruits to improve as they gear up for their I-League clash against Minerva Punjab FC at the EMS Corporation Stadium here on Saturday.

Gokulam Kerala FC's home outing hasn't been merrier so far and they were on the receiving end in their final outing of last year when reigning champions Aizawl FC overpowered them, thanks to double strikes by Daniel Addo and Andrei Ionescu. They are ninth in the I-League standings with four points from six matches.

George, during the pre-match press conference, explained that the cold plunge in foreigners' form and injury is actually averting them from getting the desired result.

"Ours is a new team. It will take time for us to settle down as a unit. The same applies to players as well. Foreigners are scoring goals for the other teams. We are not getting the same sort of services from ours. That is our problem," he said.

He also briefed that that seasoned striker Odafa Okolie is likely to debut provided that the formalities are completed before that.

"Odafa Okolie knows what the team seeks from him. He scored nine goals in the second division last season and we had every reason to go after him. Odafa's paperwork is pending. If it is done, he will play tomorrow. Hopefully, we will get it done by today evening," he said.

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Meanwhile, he added that an ex-Salgaocar FC defender Balwinder is also added to the Gokulam roster recently.

He further said that his team is drawing motivation from Arrow's miraculous performance against Mohun Bagan where the young guns held the Kolkata giants to a gutsy 1-1 draw.

Indian Arrows held Mohun Bagan and this is football. So we will try hard to get a result."

"Minerva lost their last match against Aizawl 2-1. Now they are coming from an extreme climate to a coastal climate. So, there will be a difference and that might give us an advantage. We need to go up the table is one win because there is not much points difference between the mid-table teams."

On the other hand, Minerva Punjab FC who had a fairytale-like start to the season had to leave the ground empty-handed against Aizawl FC in their last match. 

They'll surely look to churn a positive result tomorrow against the debutants and coach Khogen Singh rightly pointed it out.

He denied that they will be 'favourites' against Gokulam. "All I-League teams are equally good. Anybody can win against anybody. All teams want to win the game and Gokulam Kerala FC are no different. We have to continue our work and stick to our strategies to get the work done," he said.