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Kerala Blasters: Eelco Schattorie cites two major reasons for injury issues

14:56 GMT+3 12/12/2019
Eelco Schattorie Kerala Blasters
Eelco Schattorie confirmed that Mario Arques is fit but is undecided on his first-team involvement...

Kerala Blasters head coach Eelco Schattorie believes there are two major reasons for the long injury list at the club this season. 

The Yellow Army is winless six matches and has accumulated just six points from the first seven matches. Their only win came against ATK in the season opener. To add to the Dutch coach's woes, the team is missing several key players due to injuries. 

Ahead of the game against Jamshedpur FC on Friday, the Blasters head coach was asked whether the injuries are a result of issues concerning the medical team. He replied, "The injury issue has two reasons. The first one is that if you go on a preseason, normally you plan for six-eight weeks, around those games, you plan conditioning sessions. I have been doing (the planning) all my life. Because it was cancelled, and it was not the club's mistake, we had to come back and still had to start planning. That played a big role.

"There were (also) a few players who arrived injured at the start of the season. The other part is something that the club is working on (internally)," the coach added, choosing not to reveal more details. 

The head coach also confirmed that Mario Arques is fit but a decision on whether he will play against Jamshedpur has not been arrived at. 

When asked if he will be under pressure to perform right away, the coach said, "That's the difficult part of working in this league. Mario is fit now. A normal player, when you have a long injury you have to play 2-3 games gradually, increasing in time. We don't have that infrastructure, that's difficult. He is fit, but match fit? Not fully.  I haven't made that decision yet."

Blasters conceded late goals and dropped points in their last two matches, against Goa and Mumbai City. The former East Bengal coach, who has previously talked about Asian teams conceding late goals, expressed, "That 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. 

"Last week we had some mismatch during setpieces. 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. I cannot give them a pill to make them grow a few inches."