Margao (Goa), Oct 21 (IANS) FC Goa will be on guard at home against Kerala Blasters in a fifth-round clash of the Indian Super League (ISL) here on Thursday. Goa were dismantled 0-4 by Chennaiyin FC in their last home game, but Zico’s wards redeemed themselves with a 3-1 win over NorthEast United FC. “We have to be extra careful because the last game at home was not a good one. Teams are doing well in away games and we have to be aware of that. We have to play to our best potential and deal with this,” Zico said in a release. Zico will have to do without marquee player Lucio, midfielder Joffre Gonzalez and C.S. Sabeeth due to injuries. 

Zico, though, is showing faith in the remaining players at his disposal and said all 26 players must be ready at all times to take the field. “The defeat against Chennaiyin was a hard one, but we had so many chances. One goal was disallowed and we were not awarded a penalty. Maybe 2-4 or 3-4 against a strong team like Chennaiyin FC was not all that bad but certainly not 0-4,” said Zico, putting the last home match into perspective. Kerala suffered a solitary goal reverse at the hands of Delhi Dynamos in the last game at home with Richard Gadze scoring at the death. 

Assistant coach Trevor Morgan admitted they were not up to the task and hoped the players would come good against FC Goa. “Against Atletico de Kolkata, for the last 15 minutes we were good and deserved to get something but for the previous 75 minutes we were just not good enough. We were poor the other night (against Delhi Dynamos) and the players know they did not perform. 

“The best thing about this competition is that you do not get much time to dwell on anything since games come so quickly. This is an opportunity for us to get back to winning ways,” said Morgan. Kerala, last year’s finalists, have four points from four matches but just one point from the last three games. “Last year, after five games we had four points. Now we have four points from four, so we are in front! Our aim is to be in the top four,” said Morgan.

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    The IANS was founded by Indian American publisher Gopal Raju as the India Abroad News Service. It was later renamed the Indo-Asian News Service.

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