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Kerala Blasters assistant Ishfaq Ahmed - Top three teams have played pretty ordinary football

7:25 PM GMT+8 31/01/2020
Kerala Blasters Ishfaq Ahmed
Eelco Schattorie’s assistant coach wants more time for the team to gel….

Kerala Blasters will be hoping to get full points at home against their Southern rivals Chennaiyin if they want to keep their play-offs dreams alive.

It has been a disappointing campaign for Eelco Schattorie’s men in the Indian Super League (ISL) this season as they have managed to pick up just three wins in 14 matches.

Schattorie’s assistant coach Ishfaq Ahmed, though, justified the poor show by saying that it takes time for a team to adjust to a completely new philosophy. He also went on to say that their team have been playing eye-catching football.

“It is a process when you change the philosophy at the club. The new coach believes in total football. We usually look at results but I think the team has been playing fantastic football. It is not easy to play against a full-strength Goa and have sixty per cent possession. We have had those moments where we tend to commit mistakes in defence and concede goals. We need to give time to this team.”

Ahmed refused to believe that the top three teams of ISL, ATK, FC Goa and Bengaluru FC are a class apart from the other teams of the league.

“Bengaluru FC and FC Goa are the two teams who have kept most of their squad. Results favoured them but when you see their football, all the three teams have played pretty ordinary football. ATK had nearly 10 foreigners with them. When you have that kind of financial backing, you can have the luxury of 10 foreigners and have more Indian players.”

The Kerala assistant coach still believes that the team has a chance of reaching the play-offs as he said that any team can grab the fourth spot in the league.

“Mathematically, anyone can reach fourth. Odisha won four games in a row. We were also behind, and then we won two games in a row. It is all about that momentum, any team can qualify.”

When asked about opposition Chennaiyin FC, Ahmed said, “Sometimes changing a coach is what you all need. I don't think the earlier coach (John Gregory) was bad. Somehow they are doing pretty well now and yes, they have a chance.”

The former East Bengal player mentioned that winger Prasanth K recently got injured in training but the rest of the injured players will return to action soon.

“Recently Prasanth in training got injured without contact. Most of the players are on the verge of full fitness. By tomorrow we will take a call on Rahul KP.”