PUNE: Kerala Blasters will be under huge pressure to arrest the slide as they take on the might of FC Pune City in the Hero Indian Super League clash in Pune on Tuesday.
Kerala Blasters have lost three successive matches and picked up just a point from their last four matches. They started well with a win against NorthEast United FC but since then have spiralled downwards.
Coach Peter Taylor understands the situation and believes his team has the wherewithal to spring back into contention for a place in the semifinals.
“It’s disappointing but things like that happen. You have to stay strong because nobody is going to give you the next result. I am very disappointed with our recent run. It’s not good enough to lose three matches on the trot. We have to look now to win the next game and that’s what we have to do,” said Taylor.
Kerala Blasters appeared to have enjoyed an upperhand against Zico’s FC Goa at the Nehru Stadium in Goa and even took the lead. But defensive mistakes meant Goa punished them with goals from set-pieces.
Despite the goals, Kerala Blasters created enough chances to take away something from the game but the absence of a genuine goal-scorer hurt last year’s ISL finalist.
They will surely not have an easy run against FC Pune City, who are themselves smarting from their 1-2 away defeat at the hands of Chennaiyin FC.
“Kerala are a good side and we now have to think about that game, and how we are going to take three points from there,” said Pune City Coach David Platt.
Platt feels there is no home advantage in the ISL and the advantage is the number of days rest a team gets between matches. Pune’s rivals, Kerala Blasters, would have enjoyed a day’s extra rest, but Platt did not have any complaints.
“Fixture list is the fixture list. Sometimes you have five days, six days, seven days and sometimes just three days. It’s the same for every club,” said Platt.
Should FC Pune City script a win, they will go to the top of the table with 12 points and open a two point lead. That should be enough motivation for Platt and his team.
Kick-off from the Balewadi Stadium is at 7 pm IST, Tuesday.