TRAU FC look to maintain unbeaten run against Neroca in I-League Derby

    07-Feb-2020
Imphal, Feb 7
To stay in title contention, the in-form Tiddim Road Athletic Union (TRAU) FC would look to continue their unbeaten streak when they take on city foes NEROCA FC in an I-League match here on Saturday.
TRAU are high on confidence ahead of Saturday's tie as they are on a five-match unbeaten spree, including four wins and a draw.
TRAU's fortunes made dramatic turnaround after their last fixture against NEROCA, where they registered their first win of the season and since then they haven't looked behind.
NEROCA, on the other hand, have gone the other way, suffering defeat in three of the last four games and are in ninth position.
TRAU are currently in the third spot in the standings with 15 points from 10 games behind Punjab FC (17 points off 10 games) and league leaders Mohun Bagan (23 points off 10 matches).
NEROCA skipper Marvin Devon Phillip, however, is looking ahead to a positive result from Saturday's derby.
"Yes, it's derby time again and we are preparing to get it right this time. This game is massive for us not because it's a derby but its massive because we are having a string of bad results at the moment. We are definitely working hard towards getting three points and try climbing the table," the veteran Trinidadian goalkeeper said.
TRAU Technical Director L Nandakumar Singh was also upbeat ahead of the game, saying, "We are confident of a good show, especially after giving a good display of our brand of football away at Gokulam.
"That was a tough game and the entire squad is happy to have performed well. It is a derby so it is natural that both sides will go all out for a win."
TRAU seemed to be having a more settled side at the moment with all positions well marked out.
They have experience and solidity at the back with Patrick Uche and Sandeep Singh giving a lot of assurance ahead of keeper Mithun Samanta, who has been good overall.
Angousana, as distributor-in-chief and the wing-play of Krishnananda Singh, has been outstanding.
NEROCA have brought in Subhash Singh from Real Kashmir and his play down the left flank, which impressed one and all last season in the same colours, might just provide the boost for the struggling outfit.
Along with Pritam Singh on the right, this might just open up more options to create chances. Zodingliana Ralte and Varun Thokchom have also impressed in patches but what will worry Gift Raikhan most will be his defence, which has let in 21 goals till now -- the worst record in the league.            PTI