PREVIEW: DSK shift to a higher gear; Red Machines yet to start their engines

WITHOUT A WIN EVEN AFTER THREE GAMES Churchill are slowly coming to reality of their surprise welcome back into the I-League after years. In the games so far, they have scored just the one goal. What is more troubling is the fact that they have not been able to cause any real threat to opposition defences with their attacks. In the match against Mohun Bagan, Churchill were a goal down and man up as Bagan had a player sent off. Churchill even with the advantage never looked threatening. Of course, Bagan are a team even with a man down can make it tough for the opponents but Churchill with a great history did not pose a real threat apart from hitting the crossbar once.

Shivajians this year displayed some amazing football and that is backed by the changes made in multiple departments. They have had a change in the Head Coach. Dave Rogers who was the head coach of the DSK-Liverpool International Football Academy was promoted as the first team Coach. This helps in many ways as Rogers has been with the club for a good amount of time and has understood the Indian football system well. Along with Rogers, Barry Knowles was taken aboard as assistant Coach. Another change that DSK have made that has seen work in their favour is the signings they have made. Shivajians have got in the likes of Subrata Paul, the experienced Indian keeper, quality wingers like Sanju Pradhan and Narazary. The investment that is likely fetch returns is the one in the youth of the team. By getting teenagers like Jerry Lalrinzuala, DSK have shown their long term aim in promoting youth.

Looking to the fixture with Churchill Brothers SC, Dave Rogers said,

“We'll approach this game in the same manner that we've approached the other games. We are expecting another tough game tomorrow. There are no easy games in this I-League. The players are ready and prepared in the right way, both mentally and physically. We are looking forward to the game against Churchill Brothers. It's great to see them back to where they belong. "

"I don't expect to win any games easy, and we respect all the teams we play. Churchill Brothers have a good coach and a lot of good players. In this league, anybody is capable of beating anybody, and if you don't prepare well and under estimate your opponents, you are bound to face problems,” he concluded.

Churchill Brothers as opposed to DSK are on much lower budget hence their investments are not even close to been as diversified as the Shivajians. Among foreigners, Wolfe is the only one who has been retained from last season. Bektur Uulu is a new recruit from Kyrgyzstan who made an appearance in the last game. Ullu, a 22 year-old player is a rather unknown name in football. Another foreigner who has been signed and is expected to join the Red Machines' practices as soon as his formalities are complete. Churchill Brothers are also awaiting their Head Coach Joseph Afusi to join the team soon. The arrival of the experienced Head Coach could be the missing piece of the puzzle to sort things in the wobbly-looking Churchill.

Shivajians are off the mark in the last game and have looked in fine form. Churchill have not shown the sharpness in their play yet. This game looks for DSK Shivajians in the taking but Churchill have the experience to fire up their engines at times the way they went all out on attack against Mumbai FC.

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