Tenth-placed Tiddim Road Athletic Union (TRAU) will lock horns against eighth-placed Chennai City FC here on Sunday. With little separating the teams at the bottom half of the points table, both would aim to wriggle out of the rut.
TRAU had only themselves to blame for a dismal defensive performance in the last match that saw the Mohammedan Sporting Club come from two goals down to play out a 2-2 draw. Over the course of the season, they failed to see the match through, though TRAU took the lead against their opponents.
“We need to be more solid in defence and see our opponents through. We have already lost at least four points because of not being able to see the matches through, where we had taken the lead,” head coach TRAU Nandakumar Singh said at the official pre-match press conference.
“Defensively, we will have to be more focused against Chennai City FC and mop up any loose balls that come our way. We need to be extremely solid in the defence. Conceding cheap goals every game is detrimental for us and we have to put a stop to it. Against Chennai City, it will be a tough battle in the midfield for us. However, we are confident of grabbing our first win of the season,” he said.
TRAU striker Joseph Mayowa stated: “Three draws out of three matches is not ideal but it is better than three losses. We have a young team and we learn from our mistakes in each and every match. We will be looking for our first win against Chennai, but it will not be easy.”
Chennai City FC, on the other hand, would be looking to brush away their 0-2 loss to Real Kashmir in their last match and get back to winning ways.
“There are no cakewalks in the I-League. We are expecting no different from TRAU and we do not take anything for granted. Still, we will aim for nothing less than a win because getting back to winning ways stays pivotal for us,” said Chennai head coach Satyasagara.
“We missed key players against Real Kashmir and that showed in our performance against them. We got back to the drawing board and worked on our tactics. We focused on our weakness and have drawn up plans to bolster our defence,” he added. “We have to defend as a team and we have to be wary of Komron (Tursunov). He is very quick on the ball and can hurt us if we become complacent,” the Singaporean added.
Chennai midfielder Sriram said: “I-League is a very tough league and with the COVID protocols, it has become a bit mentally draining as a player. Each team can beat the other on its day, so we cannot afford to be complacent as the league progresses.”