U-20 I-L: Pune FC ready for Salgaocar
Jamshedpur, Mar 6 : Pune FC takes on the challenge of Salgaocar FC in a battle of firsts in a Group-A Under-20 I-League encounter at the JRD Stadium, Jamshedpur on Thursday.
While the Goans will be playing their first match, Pune FC will be playing their second and hope to continue their winning streak. Pune FC (3 points) leads the group, followed by Sporting Clube Goa, United Sikkim FC (1 point each) and Prayag United SC (0 pts).
With the demanding schedule of the league allowing a day's rest between matches, Pune FC utalised Wednesday on a recovery programme at the Tata Football Academy ground.
Head of Youth Development, Ranjan Chowdhury, said, "The players went through a recovery session (90 minutes) apart from working on improving their strategy in attacking play."
Terming the opening game against PUSC a "physically tough game," owing to the high intensity, Chowdhury was confident on his boys' toughness to brace up the situation and readiness to take on the next challenge.
In fact, after the PUSC game a couple of Pune FC players were left with niggles which included defenders Ranjan Singh, Denechandra Meetei, midfielder Nikhil Kadam but were all up and running during the practice session.
Having completed their opener in the afternoon, the game against Salgaocar FC on the morrow also turns out to be another early afternoon kick off and a test of coping. "The first 20 minutes are crucial," adds Chowdhury and admits the Goans style of play is "unknown."
For the record, the Goans, last year, ended their challenge in the group stage.
On the PUSC game, Chowdhury opined, "We began positively, which is what we hoped to do and now take it forward match by match. The result was satisfactory, but we have a long way to go."
The JRD Stadium pitch is expected to be even, which Chowdhury feels will suit his players. "Negotiating the Gopal Stadium was tough, but I am confident of a better pitch at JRD."
Changes are expected in the playing eleven, with Head Ranjan preferring to taka call after the team meeting later during the day on Wednesday.