Kozhikode: Indian Arrows, the youngest outfit in the I-League, desperately need their top players to fire as they take on depleted hosts Gokulam Kerala FC at the EMS Corporation Stadium on Friday.
Odafa Okolie who has 100-odd I-League goals under his belt is the newest recruitment to them but he did little justice to his name on his debut for Gokulam.
The hosts are yet to find their combination right and unwell players have added to their headache.
Coach Bino George didn't hide his frustration."Balwinder has chicken pox. He is admitted to the hospital. I have no idea what is happening," he said.
Meanwhile, he reiterated that the foreign signings should contribute more to churn out some positive results.
"The problem with us is the lack of foreign players. We signed Odafa because it was easy to complete the paperwork. He has scored a lot of goals." He further added that Arrows boys have a great future ahead as they have their age on their side. "Indian Arrows are showing a lot of promise for the future. Their possession and passing are all really good. The small mistakes they are committing is due to their age. They will threaten if given space."
However, the young guns who have taken everyone by surprise until now were on the receiving end during their last outing against Shillong Lajong FC.
The Kerala-based side also had the last laugh against the young guns in the first leg played at the Ambedkar Stadium in New Delhi.
Indian Arrows coach Matos recalled that match as 'a strange game.'
"The match against Gokulam in Delhi was a strange game. They scored the first goal from a corner.
Their second goal was from a free-kick. At the end, they got the three points."
He informed that the team is travelling constantly and it might take a toll on the boys in terms of giving their 100% on the field.
"For us, tomorrow will be difficult. We are not in the best shape. Since December 19, we have played so many matches, so very short time to recover. It was a Lot of travelling. These are not excuses but reality. It is not easy for these young boys."
Meanwhile, coach Matos tested a new defence setup last day having rested Boris Singh, Sanjeev Stalin and Anwar Ali. Asish Rai, Roshan Singh completely justified their selection with a special mention for goalkeeper Prabhsukhan Gill who was only playing his third match for the Matos-coached team in the I-League 2017-18.
Matos further informed that Sanjeev Stalin is still nursing the injury and he's unlikely to play his part on Friday.
The Portuguese coach mentioned that his team is in a continuous-learning mode and they'll continue to do so.
"We will try our best tomorrow to win. For us, it is important that the fans and the players are satisfied with the way we play. From every game, we learn," he concluded.
Updated Date: Jan 12, 2018 15:18 PM