I-League: Pride at stake as Gokulam Kerala host Churchill Brothers
By PTI | Published: 14th January 2018 07:50 PM |
KOZHIKODE: It will be a clash between two bottom-placed teams when Gokulam Kerala FC host Churchill Brothers at the EMS Corporation Stadium, here tomorrow.
The hosts have been subjected to four consecutive losses after picking up four points in as many matches since the start of the season. Moreover, they haven't been able to find the back of the net in 386 minutes of football, rendering their debut season in the top flight in a rut.
Influxes of new signings in the transfer window – Francis Xavier, Kivi Zhimoni and Odafa Okolie -- all have failed to produce any kind of spark. Okolie, a Hero I-League winner eight seasons ago, himself is under immense scrutiny as he faces a potential axe only after a single appearance with his new side.
Kerala head coach Bino George, however, sounded positive.
"Management is still with me and I am still confident that we can bounce back. The players are also confident to bounce back and prove themselves," he said.
"We are not underestimating Churchill Brothers but we will not allow them to get in front of us." Gokulam Kerala FC are expected to stick with the same formation but will possibly include a fit-again Vicky Meitei from the start. Mahmood Al Ajmi, the Bahraini midfielder might get his first start of the season.
It has been a similar story in terms of player changes for Churchill Brothers who only registered their first point of the season in the last game with a 1-1 draw at home against Kingfisher East Bengal.
New front man Koffi Mechac struck up a brilliant partnership with Peter Omoduemuke and delivered a goal straight away.
"With the new reinforcements we seem sorted out and some the performances you have seen from the new players, we almost came out with three points against Kingfisher East Bengal.
Hopefully that was the start of a new beginning for us. The team is gelling up well with the quality foreign signings and the local boys," Churchill head coach Alfred Fernandes said on the eve of the game.