Sporting director Skinkys requests Kerala Blasters fans to keep faith amid growing pressure

The 31-year-old sporting director, Karolis Skinkys, acknowledged fans’ dismay over the underwhelming performances over the past few seasons in the Hero Indian Super League (ISL), while requesting supporters to keep cheering the team.

The Hero ISL 2020-21 season saw Kerala Blasters finish 10th, winning only 3 games out of 20. This was the fourth straight season that the club failed to make it to the semi-finals.

This will be the second successive Hero ISL season without fans in the stadium due to COVID restrictions and Skinkys said the absence of supporters was a big miss.

“We will try to be a team that is hard to beat,” the Lithuanian said in an interview to Goal.com.

"We're one of the clubs who have lost the most due to empty stadiums. Fans probably aren't happy about the displays of the last two years - it's normal. Thank you to all [the fans] for staying supportive. Keep supporting us. Maybe last season we were too naīve and didn't start things from the basics. Please trust us because all of us want the best (for Kerala Blasters)."

Skinkys clarified his job as the sporting director at Kerala Blasters and revealed he was not only thinking about the present but also the future.

"What's going on in the mind currently, being in this position, you are always thinking not about the current moment but at least two transfer windows ahead," he said.

"Unfortunately, we are still in the season of COVID where the mid-season window is not as active as it should be. And because of foreigner limits, you can't change much. But you are observing what can be done, how the plan works, and how it's going. You observe and take decisions about the future and some direction over which things we can count on and which we cannot.”

KBFC have changed over 10 head coaches over the course of eight Hero ISL seasons, with Ivan Vukomanovic as the 11th addition.

Last season, Kibu Vicuna chose to resign as the managerial candidate following a poor run of games, and assistant coach Ishfaq Ahmed stepped up as the coach for the remainder of the season.

"To part ways with a coach is always difficult. It's always about thinking about the future and what it gives us. It's a long process for me. I spoke to 35 coaches before taking a call about Ivan. It's a serious process, we try to understand football style, way of work, motivation. I'd like to mention that we're very happy that Ivan and his team are here," Skinkys stated.

The Blasters’ supporters will be anticipating a better season with Vukomanovic being appointed as the new head coach. Another season, another promise for KBFC to deliver.

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