One win can change it all: Churchill upbeat ahead of I-League clash with table-toppers East Bengal

East Bengal's (from left) Willis Plaza, Mohammad Rafique and Arnab Mondal will be the key men against Churchill Brothers in their I-League match

Vasco, January 7: Enduring a difficult season, Churchill Brothers hope for a change in fortune in the New Year when they face table-toppers East Bengal in an I-League match at Tilak Stadium here on Monday (January 8).

Two-time champions Churchill Brothers have lost all their five matches and are languishing at the bottom of the table and they start fresh in 2017. Nothing has worked for Churchill Brothers, who sacked their coach Mykola Shevcheko after losing their first three matches.

The decision, however, did not change their fortune as they kept on losing but assistant coach Alfred Fernandes is determined that his team will do well from now on.

"Last season too we were in similar position but things changed after Derrick Pereira took over as we kept on winning to finish sixth," Alfred said. "Last time, in the away match we played against East Bengal, we put up a good performance and lost narrowly 2-3. But we want to erase that defeat tomorrow with a win," he added.

Churchill have signed three Indian players -- two from Pune FC (Wayne Vaz, Pawan Kumar) and one from FC Goa (Jovel Martins) besides roping in Ivory coast striker Koffi Mechac. Mechac is likely to play on Monday along with Wayne Vaz and Jovel Martins.

"We just need a win and things will fall in line. Tomorrow is a big challenge for us as we take on the confident-looking East Bengal, who are at the top of the table and are looking to consolidate their position," Alfred said.

"We have worked out the strategy to halt their winning run and hopefully it work as we play for our first win in front of our home crowd," Alfred added.

East Bengal is sitting pretty at the top of the table with 17 points and coach Khalid Jamil said his team will look for their sixth win. "Every team in this tournament is good and we cannot under estimate Churchill Brothers even though they are at the bottom of the table without a point," Jamil said. "They gave a tough fight for us at home and it's always tough to beat them on their home ground. It's going to be a close fight. Whichever team makes few mistakes will win."

Churchill Brothers vs East Bengal


Live from Vasco

on Star Sports 2 and Hotstar

At 8 pm

Story first published: Sunday, January 7, 2018, 15:56 [IST]
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