Shillong, Dec 5: One victory from eight home matches is “not good enough” for Thangboi Singto, coach of Shillong Lajong FC, and his team will seek to change all that when they take on Salgaocar FC in the 13th round I-League match at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium Friday.
Lajong are at sixth place in the standings, but they have two away victories against Churchill Brothers and Mumbai FC to thank for that. In Shillong, things have been a little different.
The Reds have only managed to defeat Mohammedan Sporting at home, while drawing five games and losing two.
However, they were at least on a six-match unbeaten streak, that is until Bengaluru FC beat them 2-1 at the Bangalore Football Stadium.
“Some of the players were not switched on,” Singto said of the Bengaluru match. “Players have to be switched on from the very first second and take that momentum forward. This is an area where we have to improve and we have been guilty of this for a few matches.”
Lajong’s opponents Friday are going through their own slight dip in form.
Salgaocar were once leading the league, but have fallen to fourth with back-to-back defeats. In fact, they have not won any of their last four matches, including a 2-2 draw against Rangdajied United FC, which gave them a taste of Shillong conditions early in the season.
There is still a lot going for the visitors. Not only do they have an excellent coach in Derrick Pereira, but they also boast of Scottish forward Darryl Duffy, who has scored seven goals this season. Salgaocar also have some local insight in the form of midfielder Rocus Lamare, a native of Meghalaya.
After their recent 0-1 loss to Sporting Clube de Goa Sunday, Pereira suggested that he would rest seasoned midfielder Francis Fernandes, who the coach feels needs a break after playing almost non-stop for his club and country of late.
On the other side, a full Lajong squad will be awaiting Pereira’s men and with both teams having much to prove.