Kerala Blasters look to get back to winning ways

Having been pushed outside the playoff spots, Blasters will have to start winning again in order to stay in the hunt for a top-four finish.

Published: 14th February 2022 09:48 AM  |   Last Updated: 14th February 2022 09:48 AM   |  A+A-

Kerala Blasters logo

Kerala Blasters logo

Express News Service

KOCHI: Kerala Blasters do not have to hit the panic mode yet, but having lost twice in the last three rounds and with a few key players unavailable, the Kerala outfit will have to arrest the mini-slump they are in.

Despite this, Blasters will start as favourites against East Bengal who haven't tasted victory in their last four matches which include three defeats and a draw.

However, Ivan Vukomanovic has always maintained that the Indian Super League is a competition where any team can beat any other team on a given day and predictions can go for a toss.

Having been pushed outside the playoff spots, Blasters will have to start winning again in order to stay in the hunt for a top-four finish.

Three points on Monday will help them get back into the top four and Ivan Vukomanovic is firmly focused on the task at hand.

There are no easy fixtures as every team the Blasters will face from here till the end of the season are in contention for a playoff berth and there are no margins for error.

"There are still many games till the end (of the season). Every team has to play a lot of games. We will fight till the end and we will fight for the points," said Vukomanovic during the pre-match briefing on Sunday.

Blasters suffered a 3-0 humbling at the hands of Jamshedpur FC in the previous round and Vukomanovic believes that the best way to get over that result is to focus on the next match with matches coming thick and fast.

"You keep working, training and preparing because in this type of format the good thing is that games are just coming.

You have to find positive things in every defeat, you have to analyse certain things and sometimes the best thing is not how you lose but how you respond afterwards," he said.

Blasters will be without some key personnel like Ruivah Hormipam, Harmanjot Khabra and Marko Leskovic as they are left significantly weak in defence. But Vukomanovic is defiant that they can cope with the absence of these key players.

"We have enough players in our squad. That's why we have a large squad. Some other players will take the positions.
I am not worried. I am confident that these boys can do the job. We will see tomorrow. I am glad these boys will get some game time," said Vukomanovic.

As for East Bengal, with the Red and Golds virtually out of playoff contention, they are looking to finish the season strongly and won't make it easy for Blasters.

"I’m sure the top teams will not be happy to play SC East Bengal now because they know we’ll be a very difficult team to beat," said East Bengal head coach Mario Rivera.


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