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I-League: Inform Gokulam Kerala Look to Minerva's Title Run-in

After suffering a tiring defeat at home to Kingfisher East Bengal, Minerva Punjab would look to return to winning ways to get closer to the Hero I-League silverware when they take on seventh-placed Gokulam Kerala FC at the Tau Devi Lal Stadium on Tuesday.

PTI

Updated:February 19, 2018, 5:10 PM IST
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I-League: Inform Gokulam Kerala Look to Minerva's Title Run-in
File image of Gokulam Kerala players in training. (Image: AIFF)
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Panchkula: After suffering a tiring defeat at home to Kingfisher East Bengal, Minerva Punjab would look to return to winning ways to get closer to the Hero I-League silverware when they take on seventh-placed Gokulam Kerala FC at the Tau Devi Lal Stadium on Tuesday.

Meanwhile, the Kerala-outfit are in a blazing form after beating both Kolkata powerhouses in successive fixtures. They humbled Mohun Bagan 2-1 in Kolkata and then dented East Bengal's title hopes by the same margin in Kozhikode.

Gokulam’s red hot form can be seen from the fact that they have collected a total of 12 points in their last five matches.

Minerva Punjab head coach Wangkhem Khogen Singh very well knows the significance of the fixture.

“The upcoming match against Gokulam is very important and we have already convinced our boys how important this match is for the I-League title. If we take 3 points in this match then we are on top," Khogen said.

"The boys need to understand this and they will give 100 percent in the match. In this league, the lower team or upper team doesn’t make any difference. Now we are in a tight situation. The title is close to our hands. But still, we need to work to get it,” he added.

Khogen said he wants to make some changes in his squad to ensure a favourable result as the tactical decision to play Gagandeep as a left back against East Bengal didn’t yield favourable results.

“We think the guy who played against us on our left side was strong and speedy too. We thought Bali can take him on since he is good in marking the players. We want to change one or two players from the last game we played but it’s not finalised," he said.

Meanwhile, Gokulam Kerala FC coach Bino George said playing in the top flight league and rubbing shoulders with country's premier teams will provide his team with much-needed experience which will prove to be worthwhile for future.

“As for my team, all our young boys are gathering huge experience from each game. Playing in Hero I-League will give them experience which they don’t have at the moment," he said.

He also said that his boys are not under any sort of pressure and that's why they are playing free-flowing football at this moment.

"Minerva Punjab and East Bengal are fighting for the championship. We have no pressure. We will fight and try to play a better game. That is only my aim. Minerva is a good side. Kerala badly needed an I-League for last 6 years and finally, we have one. Before the start of the season our target was mid-table finish so we are focusing on it," he concluded.

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| Edited by: Abhimanyu Sen
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