Kerala Blasters will be looking to end the two-game losing streak when it plays NorthEast United at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium here on Sunday.
The Kochi side lost to both Mumbai City FC and FC Goa in away encounters, and the side is desperate to get back to the winning ways against the bottom-placed NorthEast United and move a step closer to sealing the play-off spot.
“Every game is crucial for us. Every game is a huge fight for points. There are teams that want to play their best game against us. Now we have entered into a period which is not good for us, and it is up to us to respond bravely with the correct approach and fight for points,” said Kerala Blaster’s coach Ivan Vukomanovic.
NorthEast is a good opponent, and we have to take the game seriously and get back to winning ways. We need a couple of victories to secure a playoff place for the second straight season, which is good for the club.’‘
The coach also said that the club is looking at the January transfer window to sign a player to replace the injured Sandeep Singh, who has been ruled out for the rest of the season.
NorthEast coach Vincenzo Alberto Annese said his team was motivated enough to beat the Kochi side at home.
“The mood is always positive for a new game because we have had enough time to rest and prepare for the game. We know the way they play.”
“We will change a few things for sure. They (Kerala Blasters) are always competent and it is hard to play them in Kochi. But we have prepared well,’‘ he said.
NorthEast will miss its captain Wilmar Jordan, but Alberto Annese refuses to use it as an excuse, and stand-in captain Arindam Bhattacharya believes that a win over the Kochi side will be a huge morale booster for his side which has only four points from 15 matches in the league.