Salgaocar FC are looking to redeem a rather poor season in the Hero I-League as they will take on Mohun Bagan AC in their first-leg of the Hero Federation Cup fixture here at the Tilak Maidan in Vasco. The Greens having narrowly escaped relegation in the I-League finishing the season in t6th spot after suffering 8 losses, 4 of which came in the their opening games. The Mariners themselves haven’t had a very satisfying season, as the defending champions lost their crown to Bengaluru FC after being table toppers for the greater part are now looking for a trophy as a means of redemption as well.
Salgaocar who have won the Federation Cup 4 times, the latest being in the 2010-11 season, now have Mario Soares at the helm of things & he has made it clear that the past will remain in the past. When asked about the double that the Kolkata outfit had pulled over them in the league Soares brushed it aside saying, “It doesn’t matter now, that is a different competition & this is a new beginning, the boys understand this & we will treat it that way.” Speaking in the pre-match conference held on Sunday the Greens Gaffer confidently said “We are positive and we will do our best. The boys are high on tempo. Mohun Bagan is a big side but we need to cash in on the home advantage.” Also present the skipper, Salgaocar’s star Scottish striker Darryl Duffy confirmed how the lads were feeling “It’s a fresh start for us. The Hero I-League campaign was very disappointing as we were desperate to finish a lot higher up in the League than what we eventually did. So the Hero Federation Cup is a new opportunity to do well and try and win a Trophy.” The Goan outfit will be missing the services of their midfielder Gilbert Oliviera as he is unwell.
Similar feelings were expressed by the Mohun Bagan’s head coach Sanjoy Sen as he admitted they are focussed on finishing the season with a Trophy. “Definitely! We want to win a Trophy. Whatever is gone has gone and is in the past now. So our focus is to win this Cup. When we started the season as defending champions, expectations were just too high. So at least for our supporters we should try our level best.” India International Jeje Lalpekhlua maintained as he backed his coach’s statement “We are disappointed to lose the Hero I-League Trophy and this is our new target to get the Hero Fed Cup for the fans and for the Team.” The game kicks off on Monday at the Tilak Maidan, Vasco at 04:30pm and will be streamed live on www.i-league.com .