AIFF Media Team
KALYANI: Tiddim Road Athletic Union will look to bounce back to winning ways when they face the Indian Arrows at the Kalyani Municipal Stadium in Kalyani, West Bengal tomorrow (February 24, 2021). The match will kick-off at 7 PM IST and will be broadcasted on the 1Sports channel, whilst being streamed live on their Facebook page.
TRAU fell behind in their title challenge as they were beaten 1-3 by Gokulam Kerala FC in match week 7. The defeat pulled down the Red Pythons to a knife-edge of sixth place with 10 points from 8 games. Now, Nandakumar’s team cannot afford to lose points against the Indian Arrows, because a draw or loss, can bring their season crashing down in an instant by pummeling them to the bottom half of the table.
Speaking at the official pre-match press conference, head coach Nandakumar said, “We have learned our lesson from the last defeat. We need to be physically strong when we play strong attackers, defend as a unit and avoid unforced errors during games.”
“Indian Arrows are a very good side - young, talented, and energetic. I expect a tough game since they can run for the whole 90 minutes. We need to be very focused and cannot allow any lapses. We need to be cautious but play with our hearts. It is a must-win game for us if we want to keep our place in the top-six.”
Goalkeeper Soram Poirei was also present at the press conference. He said, “Everybody has recovered from the consecutive games. We are ready to get back on the field now. We are expecting a tough game because they have a very good setup, a great coach, and the whole team is organized. We expect a lot of attacking football from them.”
The Indian Arrows lost their last game to Gokulam Kerala 4-0. However, coach Shanmugam Venkatesh will be impressed by their display, rather than the result. Despite the defeat, the developmental team put up a positive performance in the first half and coach Venkatesh will hope his boys can produce a similar outing against TRAU.
Speaking at the virtual pre-match press conference, Venkatesh said, “The boys have proved that they can play against stronger opponents over the last nine matches. I have seen a lot of progress and positive signs. We have another big game, and our preparation is the same as every game. We’ll go into the game with a positive mind, and play good football.”
“In my opinion, TRAU are among the strongest teams in the Hero I-League. They have the stamina to run around until the final whistle, and they fight till the end. Tomorrow’s game will be of high intensity. The players know the importance of every game and will stick to the plan. It is going to be an interesting game for us!”
Defender Halen Nongtdu said, “Playing in the Hero I-League, against senior and foreign players is helpful for our development. We are learning and improving day after day. We have been preparing well for the game against TRAU. My teammates and I are confident and in a positive mindset. We are looking forward to the next game, and are ready for the challenge.”