ISL 2019-20: Injuries, poor results plague Blasters ahead of Odisha tie

Head coach Eelco Schattorie's priority will be to get through this home fixture against Odisha FC safely and work on the team's problems during the break.

Eelco Schattorie has his hands full with a string of poor results and a long list of injuries facing the Kerala Blasters this season.   -  ISL/SPORTZPICS

Its pre-season may have been a disaster but Kerala Blasters head coach Eelco Schattorie would not have expected things to go the way they currently are for his side in the Indian Super League. The Kochi side has lost two of its three games, the injury list appears to be getting longer and the coach is under mounting pressure.

Keeping this in mind, one can understand when the Dutchman spoke about getting through Friday's match against Odisha FC at the Nehru Stadium safely and then try to sort things out in the two-week break after that.

“We did not have our top keeper (TP Rehenesh) in the first two games, we lost crucial players in our backline and we missed a key player in the midfield, so the stability is not there. And now, we have lost (centre-back Gianni) Zuiverloon, one who should be doing the build-up,” Schattorie said on Thursday.

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“We need to stick together, get the support of the supporters and get through this, get into the break and hopefully get some players back.”

The problem is while the Blasters lost its last match against Hyderabad FC, Odisha is full of confidence having beaten Mumbai City FC 4-2 in Mumbai for its first win this season.

'Sahal amazing but to fit him into my system takes time'

With an impressive show, he walked away with the ISL Emerging Player award last season. Sahal Abdul Samad soon found himself in the Indian senior team and when the young midfielder was not included in the Kerala Blasters' starting line-up in the first two ISL games this season, many started criticising Eelco Schattorie.

“I am very, very happy to have this player in my team. Sahal comes from a football school in Dubai, he has an amazing ability of creativity. But to fit a guy like that into a system takes time,” said Schattorie.

 

“The last game Sahal made a mistake...we didn't lose the game because of him but these small things they matter. I discussed this also with Sahal himself, so it's not like I'm criticising a player, I don't find anything negative about it because that is football. You can't just put a player who has amazing qualities on the ball and think that everything will be fine, that's not how it works. I'm very happy to have him in my team and people questioning that, they are not supporters," said the coach.

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