Reddy issues rallying cry to his players ahead of Kerala clash

FC Pune City head to the home of Kerala Blasters FC knowing that only a win will keep their hopes of making it to the playoffs of Hero Indian Super League (ISL) 2018-19 alive. The Stallions haven’t covered themselves in glory on either end of the pitch with their goalscoring and defensive record being the worst in the league.

Speaking ahead of what could very well be the end of the road for them in terms of a playoff spot, Pune’s interim boss, Pradyum Reddy tried to identify what has been the underlying issue behind such a disappointing season for the Stallions. “If you look back to the last time, we came here which was almost a year ago, as a club we’ve played 23 matches and have only five victories in those 23 matches, and this is spreading from last January. So, one has to look beyond that and look at the individuals that are probably responsible for where the team is. It’s something that we will look at in January and address this issue,” Reddy opined.

He was then questioned on whether his players’ motivation had been affected following such a poor string of results. “I think it’s the bottom four clubs and each of them have won one game each except Delhi, so between the bottom four there’s three wins. So, as teams they will think the playoffs are a long way away and it’s a very far reach to get into the playoffs. As for players, I don’t think they should think that the season is over because for a player, there’s a transfer window. So, players who are performing, clubs will come in for them and want them to join their club. Our young boys have done well this season. So, I hope players don’t say that,” Reddy said.

Reddy brought about an end to his conference by asking his players to give their maximum in their next few fixtures before the start of the winter break. “I think every game for the last five games is a do or die because three points can really propel you up the table and bridge the gap between the teams above you. So, it’s a game we cannot afford to lose, and we’d love to win because you want to end the season on a high. We get a win tomorrow, it sets it up well because we don’t have much time after that for the FC Goa game. And if you can end before the break on a high note, then it brings up positivity into the second pre-season – if you want to call it that – before we come back for the last six games of the season,” he said.

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