KALYANI: A coach and captain-less Real Kashmir FC will face a daunting task in returning to winning ways and to stay in the title race when they take on a confident TRAU FC in an I-League match on Wednesday.
After remaining unbeaten throughout the first nine games of the season, RKFC finds itself on the cusp of falling out of the title race after it was beaten by league leaders Churchill Brothers in the opening game of phase-II.
But the Srinagar-based Real Kashmir suffered another blow as All India Football Federation (AIFF) on 6th March found head coach David Robertson and club captain Mason Robertson guilty of insulting match officials and banned the father-son duo for 4 matches as well as fining them both Rs. 4 lakh.
The Snow Leopards find themselves in fifth spot with 17 points from 11 games and need nothing short of three points against TRAU to revive their title claim.
“We have already played TRAU once this season they scored very early, but we fought back for a point. This time around we want to win against them, get the three points and move on to the next challenge,” RKFC assistant coach James Lindsay said.
While Real Kashmir full back cum midfielder Abhash Thapa said, “We have been unlucky despite playing well in a few games like Sudeva, Churchill. We are motivated to prove ourselves every time we step on. We have four more games, and it is very important to continue playing as a team. We want to prove that we were beaten, but are not down, and will come back stronger.”
TRAU, meanwhile, are on high spirits after Bidyashagar Singh’s hat-trick helped them cruise past Mohammedan SC 4-0 in their previous match.
Despite being on a three-match winning streak, the Red Pythons trail leaders Churchill Brothers by seven points as they sit in third place with 19 points from 11 games.
And Nandakumar Singh’s side will look to build on their positive streak against RKFC on Wednesday.
“We are a young team and have immense potential. We have been prolific in scoring goals, but defensively there have been few mistakes. I am satisfied with what we have achieved and I am not thinking about whether we can win the title. The team needs to build on this momentum,” Nandakumar said.
The match will kick off at 4.05 PM.
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