Kalyani, Jan 28 : After their defiant performance against Aizawl FC that saw them equalise in the dying minutes of the match, Indian Arrows would be aiming to continue to build on that as they face Chennai City FC on Friday.
Sajad Hussain’s thumping header in second-half stoppage time opened the points tally for the Arrows, a developmental team of the All-India Football Federation, but what has been a visible feature for the Arrows is their fighting spirit, and that has reaped dividends.
Speaking at the official pre-match press conference head coach Venkatesh Shanmugam said: “Our strength is our fighting spirit. The spirit shown by the boys in the last match was commendable. They did not give up until the final second and that is something to be proud of. The team has already progressed in a lot of ways but still there is room for improvement. We are improving match by match and these boys will continue to grow as the season progresses.”
Venkatesh wants his side to show the fighting spirit against Chennai City FC too. “All games are equally important in the league and a positive result will give us more confidence and motivation. We are looking forward to the next game and want to keep our spirits high by grabbing some points. It will be challenging for us,” he said.
Goalkeeper Syed Hussain, who made his debut in the 1-1 draw against Aizawl FC said, “After the last match, we are confident in our abilities and we are raring to give our 100 per cent in the match tomorrow. We will never give up because it is part of the Arrows mentality and we will fight to the end for a good result.”
A 2-0 loss to TRAU FC meant that Chennai City FC sank to tenth on the I-League table and with the Satyasagara-coached side gearing up to face the Arrows after two back-to-back losses, they will be looking for a win to turn their losing streak around.
Speaking at the pre-match virtual meet, head coach Satyasagara admitted: “We lacked concentration in the matches and the players are still getting used to the system as we have a lot of new players. We are a work in progress and as the league will go on, we will only get better.”
The coach said it is a must win game to keep the morale high.
“The silver lining is we created a lot of chances. We were not clinical in front of the goal and that is why we suffered losses, but come tomorrow, we cannot (afford to) do that. It is very important to get a win to keep our morale up,” said Satyasagara.
“The Indian Arrows are a young team, and they will be out looking to prove a point. Their performance against Aizawl FC was very good and we expect the same against us. It will be a tough challenge.”
Midfield Iqbal Hussain, who has played in the Singapore Premier League before, said, “The I-League is more intense and the desire to win is way more as compared to when I was playing in Singapore. With the intensity comes pressure as well and we have to manage that pressure. Tomorrow, we need to be compact defensively and be clinical on the attack.”