Despite having suffered an unprecedented three losses in a row, Dempo Sports Club coach Armando Colaco is continuing to show faith in his team and is confident that they would come good against Sporting Clube de Goa at the Nehru Stadium, Fatorda, on Thursday.
After having won seven matches in a row, Dempo slipped and are now placed second behind Churchill Brothers. The former champions, however, have no doubt that they would return to the top sooner rather than later.
“I believe in my boys and I still maintain that they are the best. They will prove themselves,” said Colaco.
“Dempo may have suffered defeats in the last three matches but the lead at the top is just two points and we are still second. It’s a small gap and we’ll return to the top soon. A couple of victories and people will start singing praises of Dempo again,” said the former India coach.
Dempo, however, will have to do without two of their mainstays for the crucial clash against Sporting Clube. Debabrata Roy is ruled out with a groin injury while Peter Carvalho will have to sit out – courtsey with a double booking. Valeriano Rebello and Godwin Franco have been named as replacements.
Like Dempo, Sporting Clube de Goa too suffered setbacks losing three matches in a row but they are now back on track after stealing a point against Mohun Bagan in the last game.
“It’s quite creditable to secure a draw (against Mohun Bagan in Kolkata) but now we have to start winning,” said Sporting manager Angelo Albuquerque.
Sporting Clube, however, have been hampered by the growing list of injuries, besides suspension of strikers Macroy Peixoto and Victorino Fernandes.
“It’s an important match for us. Dempo are a strong side and despite losing three matches, they would still be dangerous. It’s good to play them now because their morale would be low, but at our end, we need to raise our standard. I am sure that the boys will measure up to the challenge,” said the Sporting manager.
Dempo stay on 21 points from 10 matches while Sporting Clube are on 13 points from as many matches. The kick-off is at 3.30pm.
Total Matches: 14
Dempo Won: 9
Sporting Won: 3
Goals scored by Dempo: 24
Goals scored by Sporting Clube: 16
Last Two Meetings in I-League:
January 24, 2010:
Dempo 3 (Clifford Miranda, Joaquim Abranches, Peter Carvalho)
Sporting Clube de Goa (Bishweshwar Singh)
April 22, 2010:
Dempo 2 (Beto – brace)
Sporting Clube de Goa 1 (Adil Khan).