FC Goa, who will look to confirm their semi-final berth with a win on Sunday, make a trip to Kerala to face struggling Kerala Blasters in the Hero Indian Super League.
Having almost next to no chance to qualify for the playoffs, Kerala Blasters will hope to end the season on a positive note when they face FC Goa in the penultimate round encounter but coach Terry Phelan, who joined midway during the season, admitted his disappointment of not being able to guide his team to the next stage.
Unlike last season Kerala Blasters havena t been struggling for goals, but it was their poor defence that saw them concede silly goals which resulted in losing matches.
a Ita s been fairly disappointing. To win games, you have to score goals and not concede silly goals. We still have hope (but) should win the next two games. We have been creating some wonderful chances but not been able to put the ball into the back of the net.a
Injuries have ravaged ISL this season and Kerala Blasters were no exception as they lost players like Carlos Marchena, Sanchez Watt and Marcus Williams to injuries but Phelan isna t ready to use injuries to key players as an excuse and pointed out that FC Goa too have had injury concerns but they managed to overcome it.
a Honestly, I am not worried about Goa; just worried about our players. If they perform the right way, they will win the game. Goa has injuries, so the players (who come in) will be battling to stay in the side. That will give them the extra incentive. Everyone has injuries but we have to make sure that tomorrow night we are ready to rock and roll with Goa,a said Phelan.
FC Goa need four points to confirm their place in the semis and are wary of taking Kerala Blasters lightly as assistant coach Fernando Vannucci pointed out the need to play at their highest level to overcome Kerala Blasters and also reminded that Kerala Blaster did manage to take the lead in the first leg.
a We have two matches still to be played. We have not qualified as yet. We all know these two games against Kerala Blasters and Delhi Dynamos will be very difficult.
a Kerala played a great game against us in the first phase and we have to be guarded against them. We cannot underestimate them. We lost a couple of matches in the first phase but Kerala was the most difficult,a he said.
Image Courtesy: ISL Media