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Kolkata, Nov 8 (IBNS) Pune FC have a firm eye on getting back to winning ways when they take on Pailan Arrows in an I-league 2012-13 Round-5 clash at the Yuba Bharati Krirangan, Kolkata, on Friday.
Having struck a purple patch in their campaign, despite dominating performances in the last two matches, Pune FC faces a side that is unbeaten this season. So far, Arrows have stretched their run to nine matches in all competitions.
With a job on hand, Coach Derrick Perreira adds, “They (Arrows) are a young side and have their own style in play. So far they have done well.”
Keeping aside the two back-to-back reverses, Pune FC will draw their confidence from the unbeaten track record they have against the AIFF developmental side. In 5 encounters, Pune FC boasts of 2 wins and 3 draws. In fact, both encounters in Kolkata have ended 1-1.
“Our job is to get on and forget the past. We are up against good hard working youngsters and we need to counter them,” explains the coach, after completing a pre-match session in the afternoon.
Purely ‘unlucky’ to not earn a point from their previous matches, Pune FC will also be looking at getting back to scoring ways. “I believe in my side and the boys themselves are all eager to get going,” the Coach adds.
Pune FC has to its advantage its foreign-players to rely on. In fact, Pune FC's scorers against Arrows have always been overseas players.
For the 2.00pm kick off game, Pune FC has travelled with the same squad that played Churchill Brothers at Pune. The only exclusion is defender Caitano Costa, who is serving a one-match suspension after he was shown the red card in the home game.
Costa’s place has been taken by Zohmingliana Ralte. In fact, Pune FC have also included striker Jeje Lalpekhlua in the squad, with Coach Derrick Perreira keeping his options open until the day of the match with his final 18. Jeje missed the last match due to an Achilles tendon and has recovered to make the trip to Kolkata.
Jeje, in fact, has been an ex-Arrow (for a year on loan) and will certainly be gunning to put one over several of his Junior India team-mates, where he was under current Arrows coach Arthur Papas in the AFC Under-22 Championship.
The one fact Jeje, along with his striker partners James Moga and Subash Singh, will want to exploit is Arrows defence. Despite winning, Arrows has conceded in each of their 7 games this season barring the last two that ended goalless.
Pune FC defence, meanwhile, have their job cut out and will be up against current I-League Indian top-scorer Holicharan Narzary who has scored 6 goals for Arrows in the season so far. Narzary is normally supported by the Indian international George Alwyn from behind.
Interestingly, the Arrows team boasts of two familiar Pune FC faces – midfielder Dhanpal Ganesan and goalkeeper Poirei. Ganeshan is on loan, while the custodian is Arrows No. 1 choice.
For Pune FC the game Friday is their second away game having travelled to the city 10 days back.
Form Run (Last 5 matches)