Bhawanipore FC head coach Sankarlal Chakraborty lauded Garhwal FC, who are at the bottom of the I-League qualifiers 2020, as the “fittest" team in the competition, as he erred on the side of caution on the eve of the clash between the two sides at the Vivekananda Yuba Bharati Stadium in Wednesday, October 14 in Kolkata at 12.30 PM.
Garhwal FC currently sit at the bottom of the table, having lost both of their first two matches against Mohammedan SC and FC Bengaluru United (both by 0-1 margins) at the Kalyani Municipal Stadium, earlier this month. However, the Bhawanipore boss pointed out that the Garhwal players are the fittest of the lot, he has seen so far.
“Garhwal are the fittest team in the tournament. I’ve seen both their matches. They may have lost both of them, but they created a lot of chances. Had they converted those, the table might have looked very different today," said Sankarlal.
Garhwal FC have lost their first two games of the I-League and will be looking for redemption as they head into their next game against Bhawanipore FC.
“Tomorrow’s (Wednesday) game is very important for us. We know Bhawanipore is a very strong side. We respect them a lot. We may not have had any point on the table so far now but we are working really hard to get these six points," said Garhwal head coach Vikas Rawat.
“The mood in the dressing room is not of sorrow. We are very confident. Our performances were good and we are confident that we will come back stronger in the coming games, starting against Bhawanipore."
The Garhwal boss further stated that his side has worked on their finishing, and will be looking to end their goalscoring woes in their third match of the tournament.
“You never know what happens on the field. At the end of the day, matchday is where you have to deliver. Training is for trying things and matchday is to deliver. We have worked a lot on our finishing. We saw the loopholes in the team from the past two games and have worked on them in training," said Rawat.
Sankarlal, on the other hand, remained over-cautious, stating that it would be difficult to play against a side that has an open mind like Garhwal.
“Having lost their first two matches, they have nothing to lose right now. And that is a dangerous mentality to play against. We are over-cautious against them," stated Sankarlal.
One positive coming out of the Garhwal camp, however, is the performance of goalkeeper Sayak Barai. The 23-year-old custodian has had a huge presence in goal for Garhwal, making numerous saves during the match.
“We have been constantly talking about Sayak’s performance and we are very happy. Personally, I am happy with the way Sayak has done in the last 2 games. Seeing his confidence, we are pretty sure that in the last two games, he will be the most important player in our defence," Rawat mentioned.
The Bhawanipore camp is taking all the matches in a step-by-step manner, as they intend to pick up the full points in the race to I-League promotion.
Sankarlal said, “Right now, all we want to do is eat, sleep, and think Garhwal. We are taking it to match by match. We don’t want to get into the remaining matches right now, that might confuse our lads."