Salgaocar Sports Club coach Karim Bencherifa believes a win against Kingfisher East Bengal at the Nehru Stadium in Fatorda on Thursday could be the turning point for them in this I-League.
The defending champions have struggled in this edition of the I-League but Bencherifa is drawing inspiration from last season’s performance where a win against East Bengal set them on the path to the title.
“This match can prove to be the turning point. Last year, we were found wanting prior to the match against East Bengal but a win did wonders to our campaign. We never looked back after that,” said the Moroccan coach.
The Salgaocar coach said his side will start as underdogs against East Bengal, despite playing the match at home and not losing to the Kolkata giants for some time now.
“Look at the position they are in at the moment. They have produced some good results and when you are placed second on the table, there is bound to be some pressure. I’m sure my young players will give a good account of themselves,” said Bencherifa, who will miss defender and captain Luciano Sobroza for the crucial tie.
East Bengal will also be handicapped by the absence of defender Uga Okpara but coach Trevor Morgan will not allow such frailties to affect his team’s march towards the title. East Bengal won their last match quite comfortably and with influential midfielder Mehtab Hossain set to make a comeback seem to possess enough ammunition to down the defending champions.
Salgaocar stay on 13 points from 11 matches while East Bengal are on 19 points from same number of matches.