Vasco (Goa), Feb 27: Shillong Lajong coach Thangboi Singto is plotting a hat-trick of victories over former champions Salgaocar when the two teams meet at Tilak Maidan here in the 19th round of Airtel I-League football.
Lajong defeated Salgaocar in their home clash and then put it across their rivals again in the Federation Cup. Now, as the two teams come face to face again, Singto – the only Indian coach in the top four – wants the team to score a hat-trick.
“It’s not going to be easy against Salgaocar. They are now a much stronger team with the addition of striker Dudu (Omagbemi) and they look dangerous. We have to be on top of our game to get something here,” said Singto.
Lajong and Salgaocar both share the same number of 24 points but Shillong are placed fourth due to their superior head to head record.
“The table shows that we are fourth but we could have done a lot better had we improved our record at home. Away from home, we have done well,” said the Lajong coach.
Lajong’s last match was a tough 2-2 draw against United Sports Club in Kalyani. Singto’s team were down 0-2 against the hosts but still managed to grab a point with two quick goals.
“We made a strong comeback against United SC in Kolkata and credit goes to the players. They have been working extremely hard and am very happy with their performance,” he said.
Placed fifth, with just four points separating them and teams placed second and third, Salgaocar are on a roll after consecutive victories over Mohun Bagan and Mohammedan Sporting. The victories have been narrow but coach Derrick Pereira will take it anyway.
Salgaocar have been bolstered by the addition of Nigerian striker Dudu Omagbemi, who has twice finished as the top-scorer in the National Football League. Dudu scored in both games he has played and will be looking to add another one, if not more, to his kitty.