Dempo coach Armando Colaco said the December 15 defeat (2-1) against East Bengal was result of the failure of their midfield. "Our midfield totally flopped and allowed East Bengal to dominate the game. Both goals were scored due to mistake of the defenders."
This was Dempo's second loss in a row, having succumbed to Goan rivals Churchill Brothers in the eight round. Colaco said these losses does not mean the team was losing momentum in the title race.
"It's a long way to go. Nobody has the momentum, all teams are fighting for the title. When we had won seven games in a row nobody said we are going to win the I-League. Just because we lost two games in a row, everyone is talking about change in momentum."
"Air India are unpredictable side who are high on spirit after their convincing victory over Sporting Clube de Goa. We should be on our guard and not repeat mistakes committed in the previous matches," maintained Colaco.
Air India, who have moved to seventh place with 12 points, are high on confident after their convincing 3-1 win against Sporting Clube de Goa.
"Our boys were playing well but somehow we were not getting the desired result. We needed a win badly and the win against Sporting came at the right time," said Air India coach Santosh Kashyap.
"My boys are confident to do well against Dempo, whose confidence has been shaken due to their two successive defeats. This is the best time to play against them."