Both teams will be looking to get back to winning ways having lost their respective last outings.
Indian Arrows and Shillong Lajong FC, the two youngest outfits are looking to shrug off their last defeats and kick-start a fresh campaign when they lock their horns at the Ambedkar Stadium in New Delhi on the only Boxing Day fixture of Hero I-League 2017-18 (December 26, 2017).
Indian Arrows, after their stupendous 3-0 win against Chennai City FC in their opening fixture, have experienced three consecutive defeats in the Hero I-League 2017-18 but coach Floyd Pinto feels these are just important lessons to learn.
“Although we’re coming to this game at the back of a few defeats, tomorrow we’re going to start afresh. We would like to reiterate that those defeats always teach us some important lessons. We have to gather those and execute in the right way.”
“We are aware of earlier defeats but if you see our matches, our opponents could not run a riot against us. Yes, we conceded silly goals which cost us the matches but they have been very closely-fought contests until now”, Arrows gaffer Floyd Pinto said the Pre-match press conference held at the Ambedkar Stadium today.
He also stressed that the ‘developmental process’ is quintessential for these boys than the ‘results’ in the long run.
“Yes, results are what we play for but for these boys, the playing time and experience is mostly required. They would love to play any opponent on a given day, be it Lajong or Mohun Bagan. Trust me, they’re the toughest bunch of boys which I’ve worked with so far. They’ve endured a lot and they’re learning every day.”
Ninthoi also echoed the same while addressing the media.
“We’re learning every day. After the World Cup, it’s a platform where we’re playing against senior players and we’re enjoying the exposure. We’ve to b always on our toes and learn the nuances to be at the top of our game.”
Shillong Lajong are coming at the back of a slender defeat against Neroca FC at their home but coach Bobby Nongbet feels it was nothing but an ‘unlucky affair’.
“We were the better team on the pitch but unfortunately we ended up on the losing side. It happens in football and you have to move on. We’re here and were thinking nothing less than a win tomorrow”, Nongbet clearly said.
Meanwhile, Lajong skipper Samuela Lalmuanpuia is not going to start tomorrow owing to an injury which only aggravated after the Neroca match.
The match is going to kick-off at 02:00 PM and it’ll be telecast live on Star Sports 2, 2 HD and streamed live on Hotstar, Jio TV.