NEROCA FC will face an uphill task in their bid to stay relevant when they square off with Sudeva Delhi FC in a do-or-die battle for survival in the I-league in Kalyani, West Bengal on Tuesday. (More Football News)
NEROCA's slump in form has probably come at the worst of times as the Manipur-based club finds itself in the relegation spot with just a couple of matches left to go in the season.
Defeats to the Indian Arrows and Aizawl FC in their last two matches have heaped more pressure on NEROCA, who need to win their next two games and hope results go their way if they are to stay in the I-League.
The last time these two sides met, NEROCA defeated Sudeva Delhi FC 2-0 and Gift Raikhan's side would be aiming to take inspiration from that win and aspire for maximum points.
Raikhan said, "The match will be very, very important against Sudeva Delhi FC because if we collect 3 points from them, we have chances to play against Chennai in the last match and survive relegation. The boys know the importance of this fixture."
Sudeva Delhi, who are immune to relegation, come into the clash after having rested in the last matchday. Their previous outing was a 2-1 win against Chennai City and that win has helped them sit comfortably with 12 points from 11 matches -- four points ahead of NEROCA.
"In our last match against NEROCA, it wasn't our day and they got lucky. We have learned lots of lessons from our previous encounter and we will go for the win," assistant coach Pushpender Kundu said.
"Long breaks tend to break the momentum of the team but this time around we are focused and determined. We have worked on our positioning and finishing," he added.