Kerala Blasters look to end winless run as Jamshedpur eye top spot
Kerala Blasters will look to snap their six-match winless streak when they take on Jamshedpur FC in an Indian Super League match at the Jawaharlal Nehru stadium here on Friday.
Kochi : Kerala Blasters will look to snap their six-match winless streak when they take on Jamshedpur FC in an Indian Super League match at the Jawaharlal Nehru stadium here on Friday.
The Kerala side, after their opening matchday win over ATK, are winless for six games now. With three draws and as many losses in these six matches, the Blasters find themselves at the wrong end of the table in the eighth position.
However, they will not have it easy against fourth-placed Jamshedpur FC who can go to the top of the table with a win in Kochi.
Kerala played out two consecutive draws (against FC Goa and Mumbai City) coming into this match and so have Jamshedpur FC (against NorthEast United and Chennaiyin FC).
Kerala coach Eelco Scahttorie and Jamshedpur manager Antonio Iriondo will want their sides to register a much-needed win on Friday.
Kerala have themselves to blame for the mess they find themselves in. The team looked on course for victory against both FC Goa and Mumbai City, only to concede late and settle for a point. The concentration in the latter part of matches have let the team down.
Add to that the fact that Jamshedpur FC have scored four of their nine goals in the final 15 minutes of games, Schattorie's side have to be concerned. They have also shown a vulnerability while dealing with set-pieces.
"That (conceding late goals) has to do with the quality that you have in the team. One of the first things in team meetings at my previous clubs, one thing I keep repeating is that there has to be a mindset to have double alertness," said Scahttorie.
"Last week we had some mismatch during set-pieces. You have to find a solution, in this case, I tell my players to be a bit smarter, a bit meaner, to be street-smart," said the Dutchman.
Though Raphael Bouli has shone in attack of late, the absence of Bartholomew Ogbeche will weaken their frontline which has not exactly been on fire.
The Men in Yellow have scored just six goals which is the second-lowest in the league. But the return of influential midfielder Mario Arques will be a relief for Schattorie.