The Telegraph
Since 1st March, 1999
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Confident EB dare Dempo

Margao: Rattled by poor form after a fine start in the National Football League, Dempo will try to take full advantage of playing at home in Sunday’s match against leaders East Bengal.

The Calcutta team coached by Subhas Bhowmick is going strong, yet to be beaten, and has shown fine form even away from home. They clubbed heavyweights Churchill Brothers 3-1 here on Thursday to move to 33 points, nine clear of closest rivals Salgaocar.

Dempo, however, have missed the plot somewhat and slipped to fifth position with 21 points from 13 games. They were leading the table after the eighth round. Having been drubbed 1-5 by Mohun Bagan in Calcutta, and drawn at home with the lowly ITI, Dempo coach Armando Colaco knows his team has to improve drastically in all departments. New recruits, Brazilian Luiano and Sri Lankan striker B. Channa have not been effective and in the absence of Bolaji and Francis Silveira, Dempo have serious shortcomings in attack and in defence.

On the other hand, East Bengal are in high spirits. Bhowmick doesn’t want to rest on his laurels and sounds cautious, saying Dempo is a good side.

“Although they are going through a lean patch they can turn around anytime on a given day as they did with us in the first leg, when they lost after leading 2-1 at half time,” Bhowmick said.

“We will play a positive and aggressive game to collect full points as it will consolidate our position at the top and help us play with more confidence in the remaining matches.” (PTI)

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