After a 0-2 defeat against Aizawl FC last time out, NEROCA FC face Rajasthan United FC in a crucial I-League game on Thursday, which could have ramifications on who finishes in the top 7.
Head coach W Khogen Singh believes his side did not play too badly in the defeat to Aizawl, having failed to make the most of their chances and also pointed out why he thought they found it tough.
"We know that when we have our preferred starting XI, we play really well so the lack of depth in our squad has affected us after being hit with so many injuries to key players," said W Khogen Singh in a statement.
Forward Sergio Mendigutxia, who is the joint-2nd top scorer in the I-League this season with 9 goals, added that he is relishing the prospect of going up against Rajasthan United's key players.
"Playing against the likes of quality players like Mauro dos Santos, Pedro Manzi and Omar Ramos is something I am really looking forward to and I think the difference in this game will be made on whoever presses better," he said.
Rajasthan United fought back from two goals down to earn a valuable point against Real Kashmir in their previous game and head coach Francesc Bonet believes that his side deserved the draw.
"We went down to an early goal which was a magnificent free-kick by Mason Robertson and the second one also could be put down to a defensive error on our side. But we changed a few things as the game went on and deserved to get a point out of the game," Francesc Bonet said.
The newly-promoted side could go above NEROCA with a win and would have one foot in the top 7 but Bonet is not taking anything for granted.
"For me, all games are important and we would be treating this one like a final the same way we did with the Real Kashmir game. They have some good Indian players and of course, Mendigutxia who is getting all the goals so we need to be on our game to win it," he concluded.