Shillong, Feb 25 (IANS) It will be the second encounter in less than a week between the sides when Shillong Lajong FC host DSK Shivajians in an I-League encounter at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium here on Friday.
The two sides had played out a 1-1 stalemate at DSK’s home ground in Pune on Sunday.
Placed at the bottom of the table, Shivajians gaffer Derrick Pereira felt that all is not lost for his side and they can still break through to the top half of the league.
“There are only nine teams in the league and two or three wins can change things for us,” Pereira said.
The former Salgaocar coach feels that the key would be to stay focused now and play as a unit.
Talking about the performance of his side in its debut season, Pereira said that his boys did not get enough time to prepare for the competition.
“We were supposed to play the second division and my aim was to build a team. Some of our boys could not recover on time from the niggles,” he added.
Shivajians have won only one of their eight matches till now and have a mountain to climb if they are to make a mark in the debut season. For Lajong, who do not enjoy immunity like its Pune rival, any slip up may lead to the relegation situation they had to overcome last season.
Lajong coach Thangboi Singto is well aware of that and minced no words when he said, “We have to fight for the survival.”
Singto said that the fate of his side will depend on their consistency and the ability to score more goals.
“If you look at the table we are not doing too bad; there were some tight games which we should have won (hinting towards the last tie against DSK). It will be all about consistency and score more goals,” he added.
The hosts, however, have more than one thing to worry about. Their Brazilian duo of Uilliams Silva and Fabio Pena would be doubtful starters on Friday. Both are nursing slight injuries.
“A final call on them will be taken tomorrow,” Singto informed.