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Chirag United’s chance to be on target

sports Updated: Nov 05, 2009 22:52 IST
Dhiman Sarkar
Dhiman Sarkar
Hindustan Times
Ottmar Hitzfeld

He isn’t trained in mathematics like Ottmar Hitzfeld, but mention I-League standings and Subroto Bhattacharya seems as comfortable with numerals as the legendary Bayern Munich coach now in charge of Switzerland. Since his calculations charted Chirag United’s survival route last season and have them second only on goal difference this time, Bhattacharya’s claim of having figured it out doesn’t sound pompous.

“Before the game against Churchill (away, Nov 13), we need another win. If it happens tomorrow (against Salgaocar) all right, otherwise I think we would go into the break a couple of points short of our target,” he said, one day before Chirag United’s seventh round game against Salgacoar here.

“If we get to 15 before the Churchill (Brothers) tie, pressure on teams now between two and six points (like Salgaocar) would increase. That would help us given that my priority is to get into a safe zone.”

Safe zone for a team unbeaten and currently second among 14? “Well, I would rather be second at the end of the third I-League than now. It’s too early to talk about targets but only if you are in the safe zone of 25-26 points, can you eventually push to climb higher. Remember, only six points separate the top and bottom rungs now (leaders Dempo and Chirag United have 12 points while in 10th place Salgaocar have six having played a round less).”

Bhattacharya knows all about the importance of winning if Chirag United are to be more than pacesetters and to that end, a good Friday would be handy.