Punjab FC head coach Staikos Vergetis expressed confidence in his team as they take on Kerala Blasters FC in the opening fixture of Matchweek 15 in the Indian Super League (ISL) at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in Kochi on Monday.

The Shers emerged victorious in the last match against Bengaluru FC, where they beat the Blues by a 3-1 scoreline. Punjab FC are currently placed in the 11th spot in the league standings with 11 points in 13 games. Vergetis’s men will be determined to continue their winning streak, having secured two of their wins this season from their previous three games. 

Vergetis firmly believes that winning their previous match against Bengaluru FC has handed a big confidence boost to his players.

“One positive result helps the psychology of the player get to a good level. It gives them confidence. I had seen from our (Kalinga) Super Cup games that they have more confidence, and this is something that was confirmed in the last game,” Vergetis said in the pre-match press conference.

Vergetis asserted that his players are adapting well to the ISL, and he is optimistic about their performance in the second half of the season. Speaking in context, he said, “I believe that we had difficulties in the beginning because of the lack of experience of many players in the ISL.”

“Many players have never played in this division, and this cost us in some crucial moments. There are games in which we could have a better result. But small details and individual mistakes put us in a difficult position. I believe that our players took their lessons. They took their experiences in this division, and I'm sure that they will prepare psychologically, mentally, and physically for the second round,” he continued.

Kerala Blasters FC have lost some of their crucial players to injury during the ongoing season. But the biggest blow has been the loss of their captain Luna, who suffered an injury in December, ruling him out for the remainder of the season. Vergetis acknowledged Luna's talent but believes that the midfielder's absence has not weakened the team.

“They (Kerala Blasters FC) lost one very quality player, Adrian Luna, and it did not affect the team,” he opined.

“The team functioned very well, and they will be doing the same. They will replace their absences and continue their style of play,” he signed off.

We are expecting a tough game: Luka Majcen



Punjab FC captain, Luka Majcen, accompanied his head coach ahead of their next game against Kerala Blasters FC. Majcen backed his team to continue their winning streak and urges his teammates to carry forward their team spirit.

"The full squad played well against BFC,” he stated in the pre-match press conference.

“Even my goal was just the finish of one very nice group action. I'm happy for every goal, but I'm happier because that goal helped our team. So, we are very happy. I will try to continue this steak,” he added.

The forward is anticipating a challenging game against the Blasters.

Speaking in context, he said, “Of course, it was a very tough game (the reverse fixture).”

“Now we come here to play against them on their home ground. So yeah, we are expecting a tough game, but they can also expect that we came here to fight,” he signed off.