Imphal (Manipur) [India], December 8 (ANI): Tiddim Road Athletic Union (TRAU) FC are set to host RoundGlass Punjab FC in a sixth-round clash of the I-League 2022-23 at the Khuman Lampak Stadium in Imphal on Thursday.
Both sides enter the contest on the back of contrasting runs of form, with the home side suffering defeat in their last three matches -- all of them being away fixtures. However, they will certainly have lots of positives to draw from their last match against league leaders Real Kashmir, where they led twice in the game before going down by a 2-3 scoreline. Now back at home, TRAU FC will be eager to bank on the support from the stands and turn the tide.
On the other hand, RoundGlass Punjab FC are still unbeaten in the competition, winning three and playing out a solitary draw so far. With their match against Sudeva Delhi FC in the previous round postponed, they head into tomorrow's match with an extended period of rest as well. However, it will be interesting to see how they adapt to the challenge of playing away from home for the first time this season against a side desperate for a win.
Their head-to-head record in the competition sees the Punjab side have an edge, claiming victory in two out of four games and TRAU winning one. In their only meeting last season, RoundGlass Punjab ran out 1-0 winners at Naihati.
Addressing the media at the pre-match press conference, TRAU head coach Nandakumar Singh declared that his team is optimistic and confident ahead of the match.
He said, "We are coming back home after three consecutive away matches. The boys are very happy to play at home and the morale is high. RoundGlass Punjab are a well-balanced side and among the top teams on the table. We have already faced a number of strong oppositions already and it will be a similar experience. It will be a high-intensity match and we will have to fight hard for the three points."
Defender Buanthanglun Samte said, "I expect tomorrow's match will be a tough and physical one. Punjab are a good team and unbeaten till now. However, anything can happen in football. I have full trust in my teammates and coaches, and we hope to get the victory."
RoundGlass Punjab head coach Staikos Vergetis stressed on the need for his team to be focused on the task at hand.
He said, "The players in good shape psychologically. Tomorrow, it will be a very difficult game as TRAU are a well-organised and dangerous team with good defensive organization and a direct attacking style. It may be our first away game, but the only thing that matters is the getting the three points. For that, we need to be extremely focused and execute our plans well."
Winger Krishnananda Singh, who was signed from TRAU and has over 50 senior appearances for the club in his career, said, "TRAU are a strong side with quality players. It's always a special feeling to play here in front of my home crowd. After playing for this club for many years, it'll be a nice experience to face them. We will play as per our coach's plan and hopefully, we will secure the win and continue our unbeaten run." (ANI)