New Delhi: The beauty of the I-League stays the concept of Home and Away matches. For ONGC, Away matches haven't been sweet at all so far. But Home away from Home has stayed sweet. So much so that they are not missing Mumbai (where they were supposed to play their Home-matches) at all.
ONGC's six out of the accumulated 7 points (from 11 matches) have come at Home - a win over Dempo SC and draws against Prayag United, Mohun Bagan and Sporting Clube de Goa. And when they take on Shillong Lajong FC in an I-League match at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium on Saturday (December 22), they will take inspiration from their home-record for sure.
"We intend for a top-7 finish," new Coach Santosh Kashyap echoes. "One has to be optimistic. Not to deny the points tally reflect a lot different at the moment, a top-7 finish is a realistic target," he adds. "If you carefully look at the table, there's not much difference between the teams. But yeah, I must admit, the first aim it to avoid relegation."
"It's true that I have inherited the squad but it's a talented bunch. I have just had two sessions with them and there are some areas which need to be plugged," he goes on. "I'm happy with the fitness level of the boys and also the team spirit. The best part stays, all are available against Lajong and there aren't any card problems."
ONGC's rivals Shillong Lajong FC, who rely on 'direct football,' stay on 13 points from 11 matches. They have had some inspiring results but have been inconsistent. "Apart from the top-5, I don't feel there's much difference between the teams in the bottom-half," Kashyap opines. "I intend to build up a specific style of play. We want to stress upon possession and build-up from the back. I want my players to be more confident."