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Eelco Schattorie - Kerala Blasters are still in the survival mode

8:26 AM EST 11/30/19
Eelco Schattorie Kerala Blasters
The Dutch coach suggested that if he had a fit team they would have competed for the top four spot….

Kerala Blasters will hope to register all three points at home when they welcome giants FC Goa on Sunday.

The Yellow Brigade are winless since their opening day triumph over ATK and are currently struggling at the bottom half of the league table with just four points from five matches.

Kerala have suffered heavily due to the unavailability of several key injured players. Giving an update on the team’s injury status, Dutch coach Eelco Schattorie said, “Not much has changed regarding injuries. I saw an interview of Goa coach saying that we have a team that can play for the title. I don't agree with him. At this stage, we're still getting to the level that we're trying to get to. We're still in the survival mode. We did well in the last game against Bengaluru, we kept working hard, the atmosphere is good.

“These injuries are long-term. Mario (Arques) is back in training, he's medically fit. He trained for a week now, he'll hopefully be fit in 2-3 weeks. Moustapha (Gning) was also injured last game, has a unique injury, he's not fit.”

When asked about his tactics against FC Goa, the Dutch manager mentioned, “I don't think we'll be actually sitting back. The first half, we tried to press BFC in the last game. The style I like to play is adapted. Sometimes you have to play long-ball strategy as well. It takes time. We miss a little bit of experience. I'm not a coach (who will ask his team) to sit back and try just to defend.”

Schattorie stressed that defensively Kerala Blasters aren’t vulnerable even though his team has conceded six goals in five games. “If you look at our setup, we have six goals against us, five from set-pieces. Defensively, I think we're pretty okay, we're not open.”

The former NorthEast United boss suggested that it is still early days in the league and they have ample time to turn things around.

“I can assure that if my team was fit, I'll be arrogant to say that we will compete for the top four. I see players improving, players believe in what I do. We're only five games into the season, anything can change.”