Gangtok: Dempo coach Armando Colaco and his players are relaxed before they take on United Sikkim in their third round I-League football match at Paljor Stadium here on Sunday. "We are very happy to be here in Sikkim. It's a beautiful place and everything has been arranged wonderfully for us. We are completely feeling at home," said Colaco in a pre-match press conference.
The Goan club reached Gangtok Friday and underwent light training at Paljor Stadium on Saturday morning. Unlike, Salgaocar and East Bengal, who complained about the tiring journey, the Dempo players and coach said they relished the four-hour long road journey from Bagdogra airport to Gangtok. "We are lucky to be here during this time of the year when the weather is pleasant in Sikkim. United Sikkim will have the home advantage but we have matured players in our team. We want to play an entertaining brand of football and leave an impression among the people here," said Colaco.
The Dempo coach added that he would rather instruct his players to go out and enjoy their football than going for three points against United Sikkim. "This is just the beginning of the season and I don't want my players to play under any kind of pressure," he said. He informed that there is no injury problem in his squad. All the players, including the foreigners - Rohan Ricketts, Koko Sakibo and Ryuji Sueoka, are available for Sunday's match.
Dempo coach Armando Colaco and his players are relaxed before they take on United Sikkim in their third round I-League football match.
Captain Clifford Miranda said, "Sikkim is a lovely place and the ground here is also suits our type of football". However, Colaco writes off any possibility of taking United Sikkim lightly. "Any club will want to play well against Dempo. The United Sikkim players would be keen to prove themselves and want to beat us. They will be extra motivated," Colaco suddenly sounded cautious.
Meanwhile, United Sikkim is also prepared for their toughest I-League test. "It is the toughest test for us tomorrow. Dempo is by far the most consistent team in the I-League and has very dangerous players. However, we remain confident as our players have recovered from their injuries and we aim to take full three points," said coach Phillippe De Ridder.
United Sikkim had won their first match 3-2 against Salgaocar SC but lost against East Bengal in the second match by a solitary goal. "The injury problems have been addressed and we are in a good shape. If our players play tomorrow like they did in the first two matches then we can definitely fancy our chances. Everyone is motivated to play well against Dempo," said Ridder.
United Sikkim have also recently included DG Attivi from Togo in their squad which consists of foreigners like Costa Rican Michael Rodriquez, Nigerian Nurudeen Salau and South Korean goalkeeper Tae Woon.