Dempo relaxed before Sikkim tie

GANGTOK: Be it the natural beauty of Sikkim or simply the confidence of a champion side, whatever may be the reason, Dempo coach Armando Colaco and his players were absolutely relaxed before their third round I-League match against United Sikkim here at Paljor Stadium on Sunday.

“We are very happy to be here in Sikkim. It’s a beautiful place and everything has been arranged wonderfully for us. We are completely feeling at home,” said Colaco in a pre-match press conference.

The Goan club had reached Gangtok on Friday and underwent light training at Paljor Stadium on Saturday morning. As compared to Salgaocar SC and East Bengal, who complained about the tiring journey, the Dempo players and coach said they relished the four-hour long road journey from Bagdogra airport to Gangtok.

“We are lucky to be here during this time of the year when the weather is pleasant in Sikkim. United Sikkim will have the home advantage but we have matured players in our team. We want to play an entertaining brand of football and leave an impression among the people here,” said Colaco.

The Dempo coach added that he would rather instruct his players to go out and enjoy their football than going for three points against United Sikkim. “This is just the beginning of the season and I don’t want my players to play under any kind of pressure,” he said.

He informed that there is no injury problem in his squad. All the players, including the foreigners—Rohan Ricketts, Koko Sakibo and Ryuji Sueoka—are available for Sunday’s match.

Captain Clifford Miranda said: “Sikkim is a lovely place and the ground here also suits our type of football.”

However, Colaco wrote off any possibility of taking United Sikkim lightly. “Any club will want to play well against Dempo. The United Sikkim players would be keen to prove themselves and want to beat us. They will be extra motivated,” Colaco sounded cautious.[NT]