Vasco (Goa), March 21 IANS | 4 months ago

Salgaocar FC coach Derrick Pereira Friday conceded that they are within touching distance of the I-League title but warned his team that the match against United SC at Tilak Maidan here Saturday will be crucial.


Salgaocar are four points behind league leaders Bengaluru FC and have enjoyed a rich vein of form that has seen them win five matches in a row. For a team that had not won any of their previous seven matches, it has been some transformation and Pereira has warned his team against complacency.

"I don't think the team will be complacent but it's important that we secure full points against United SC. A lot many feel they are struggling but the players have been together for some time and they can be a dangerous side," said Pereira.

Salgaocar are expected to make a couple of changes to the team that rolled past Dempo SC 2-0 in the previous match. With Francis Fernandes recovering fully and playing a good game against Dempo and Rahul Kumar ruled out, there will be changes, said Pereira.

"You can call us genuine title contenders. There is no doubt about that but nothing is in our hands. We have to wait for results of other teams and we have to keep doing our best," said the Salgaocar coach.

United SC have struggled since the departure of Nigerian striker Ranty Martins and have never looked the dangerous team of the past when Ranty pounced on almost everything. Even with the signing of Subrata Bhattacharya as technical director, there has been no change in United's fortunes.

United are currently placed 11th with 20 points from 19 matches. They are five points adrift of the relegation zone and will know that Churchill have a match in hand.

A loss against Salgaocar could be disastrous especially since Churchill only play Sunday and by then, will have two more matches to play.

(Posted on 21-03-2014)