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ISL 2017: Kerala Blasters' Rene Meulensteen: All goals were self-inflicted

11:12 PM SGT 31/12/17
Rene Meulensteen FC Goa Kerala Blasters FC ISL 4 2017/2018
The Kerala Blasters coach believes that his players are to be blamed for the three goals conceded against Bengaluru FC.

On the last day of the year, Kerala Blasters were handed a 1-3 defeat by southern rivals Bengaluru FC at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in Kochi. A brace from stalwart Miku and spot-kick from skipper Sunil Chhetri was all Albert Roca’s men needed to ensure full points on Sunday evening.

Assessing their performance, Rene Meulensteen stated that the Blasters’ plan was to bolster their attack with several foreign players. However, the ploy didn't go as planned.

"We set out today with five foreign outfield players with the intent to go forward and create chances but you need to be at your best. It was a tough game all through and we knew that. The penalty changed the game. We tried to get back in but it all comes down to quality and we didn't produce that,’’ he expressed.

The Sandesh Jhingan-led team was guilty of leaking three goals with two of those coming in second half injury time. Speaking on the shaky defensive unit of the Sachin Tendulkar co-owned outfit, the former Manchester United assistant coach commented, ‘’All goals were self-inflicted. Even if it is 1-0, you stay in the game; it is not good, it is unacceptable. You can't legislate for human error, it is as simple as that. Bengaluru FC, with the quality players that they had, took advantage of that. We have ourselves to blame."

The Kochi-based side played with the duo of Iain Hume and Mark Sifneos upfront for the all-important clash against The Eagles. Discussing on the same, the 53-year-old gaffer said, ‘’(Iain) Hume just came back from his injury. The dead leg tackle that Mark (Sifneos) got, didn't help. That's why I had to take him off. We have worked it (two forwards) in training. But you need to have quality throughout the whole pitch. We have already lost three starters including (CK) Vineeth who got injured yesterday (Saturday)."

Serbian defender Nemanja Lakic-Pesic picked his fourth yellow card of the season which meant that he would be suspended for Kerala’s next match against second placed FC Pune City. There is a possibility of Wes Brown being asked to fill in.

‘’That's an option we need to assess. We do not have many days to recover. The players in their 30s tend to take a little bit longer.’’

Finally, the former Fulham manager spoke about Kerala’s newest recruit Keziron Kizito and mentioned what the Ugandan would bring to the team. ‘’We have got Keziron (Kizito) coming in. He brings some energy; he will help us in midfield. He can keep the ball moving, that is something we have missed,’’ Meulensteen signed off.