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I-League: Real Kashmir FC to face Gokulam today

Srinagar: I-League team's Real Kashmir FC Head Coach David Robertson along with team player Abash Thapa shakes hands with Gokulam FC Head Coach Gift Raikhan and team player Musa ahead of their I-League match ,in Srinagar on Tuesday, Feb 05,2019. Real Kashmir FC is the first team from Jammu and Kashmir who ever qualified for I-League within a span of two years. PTI Photo by Umar Ganie

Srinagar, Feb 5:As Real Kashmir FC’s run for title draws close to table toppers, Coach David Robertson believed the team’s winning spree was relieving pressure on his players by boosting their individual confidences.

Popularly known as snow leopards, RKFC will face Gokulam Kerala FC second time on Wednesday at AstroTurf TRC ground in Srinagar.

 

RKFC, which is currently is on third rank with 29 points in 15 games, will be eyeing to leapfrog table toppers Churchill Brothers FC and Chennai City FC.

The underdogs witnessed no loss since last 11 games and defeated football giants including Minerva Punjab FC, Mohun Bagan and Chennai City FC.

The I-league debutants under the stewardship of Scottish coach, have found a semblance of consistency in performance since the beginning of its away leg in mid -December last year.

Visitor Gokulam Kerala FC, which on December 15 last year had an encounter with the team with a draw, currently is placed among the bottom teams in the league with just two wins in 14 matches.

The match between RKFC and Malabarians is expected to be a high voltage game since both these team are eying championship and avoiding relegations, respectively.

In a pre-match press conference, title contender RKFC’s coach David Robertson said his team will continue working hard in the upcoming games to maintain consistency in the league.

“The upcoming games are equally challenging but our players will play without any pressure. We have performed well so far and will continue to play with the same momentum,” he said.

Robertson said the Gokulam Kerala FC under new coach can prove to be a difficult opponent against any team.

“The team has some top players and a new technical director. They are low in the table but can’t be defeated easily,” he said.

RKFC coach said his team was aware of the playing style of most the Gokulam players.

“We played with them before in Kerala, so it will be easy for our players to read them quickly in the game,” he said.

Gokulam Kerela FC Coach Gift Raikhan said the match was crucial for them, considering their efforts to avoid relegation in the league.

“There is more responsibility on our players to perform better ahead in order to avoid relegation. RKFC has a very sound defending side but we are prepared to face every good and bad thing in tomorrow’s match,” he said.

Raikhan said the current climate condition of Kashmir could initially trouble his players.

“Comparing to Calicut, Kashmir’s climate certainly will impact players. After warming up everyone normal and players will play their natural game,” he said.

“RKFC is currently in a good momentum and my job is to kill that momentum,” he added.

Meanwhile, despite snowfall prediction, a huge number of spectators are expected to watch the match.

“A huge number of football enthusiasts have already got tickets. We are expecting a jam-packed stadium tomorrows as the team is doing well in the league,” said an official at Astro Turf TRC stadium.