TRAU FC from Imphal, Manipur, are all set to kick-start their I-League 2020-21 campaign on a high, and are laying out a plan to put themselves in a position to challenge for the title in the upcoming season, head coach Nandakumar Singh said at the virtual press conference on Monday. TRAU FC, who are already inside the I-League bio-bubble, were looking forward to the start of the season.
Nandakumar and goalkeeper Soram Poirei were optimistic about the club's chances. "Our target is to go into every match with the aim to win the three points. The boys have all arrived, and they are feeling well. If we finish in the top six positions in the first phase, then we can challenge for the title," said Nandakumar.
TRAU had a hot and cold campaign in the I-League last season, when they notched-up six wins, four draws, and seven losses, after having gained promotion as champions of the Second Division League in 2018-19.
The coach implored the fans to support the Imphal side from their homes and hoped that the club can improve on last season's results. "I hope all the fans support us by watching our matches. I constantly keep getting messages from friends, family, and fans wishing us luck, and we want to repay that faith and go higher," stated Nandakumar.
TRAU custodian Soram Poirei outlined the importance of having the hunger to win games, something that he feels will come in handy in their much-anticipated derby against Neroca FC, which happens to be TRAU's second match in the upcoming campaign (on January 15 at the Kalyani Stadium at 7 PM IST).
"We always tell the youngsters to be sincere and do what the coaches tell them. As senior we try to explain that they need to be professional and that the hunger to win is important," said Poirei. "I think that could be important when it comes to the Imphal Derby this season. It will be at a neutral venue, and there will be no pressure from the fans, so it will be down to the players. Whoever is hungrier, will win that match."
The I-League 2020-21 season is slated to kick-off on Saturday, January 9, 2021, with Sudeva Delhi FC going up against Mohammedan Sporting Club at the Salt Lake Stadium at 2 PM IST. TRAU play their first game against Real Kashmir FC, which kicks-off at the Kishore Bharati Krirangan on January 10 at 4 PM IST.