I-League: problematic Gokulam TRAU inconsistent host

KOZHIKODE: TRAU They were crossing with four trot victories when management decided to fire their head coach Dimitris Dimitriou for accusations of match-fixing. Princewill Emeka , captain and top scorer on the side of Manipuri, admitted that the incident shook them mentally.

Most of the oppositions would consider the circumstances as ideal to play TRAU, but on the eve of their I-League I find in Kozhikode , Gokulam Kerala's head coach, Santiago Varela, stepped cautiously. We don't know what happened to the coach, but the players are equal and have the spirit of being competitive, Varela said Saturday.

They would like to show that even if the coach is fired, they are prepared to win. We have to concentrate because it can be confusing for people who think they have a problem, but we must pay attention, the Spaniard added.

Gokulam's form has been inconsistent, especially since the beginning of the New Year when they won and lost all alternative games after the draw against Aizawl. A 2-3 defeat at home was followed by a 3-1 victory against East Bengal as a visitor. Gokulam then lost by the same margin against the Punjab away before earning a 1-0 victory against Churchill at home.

By contrast, TRAU are unbeaten in six matches, and though it is unsure how the I-League debutant would cope with life after Dimitriou, their technical director and caretaker L Nandakumar Singh He feels they can handle at least one draw.

About match fixing, I have no idea. But it was unfortunate to separate from the former coach. But the confidence of our boys is very high. Gokulam is a very good team, so even one point will be fine for us, Nandakumar said.

The home team that is fourth in the table, one point below Sunday's opponents, will continue to depend on the Captain. Marcus joseph and his attacking partner Henry Kisekka, who has contributed nine of his 12 goals in eight games.