Kerala Blasters suffered a major blow ahead of the second edition of Indian Super League (ISL) 2015 as their marquee player--former Spanish international Carlos Marchena--was injured during a training session in Trivandrum.
Marchena flew back to Spain for his treatment and is likely to miss the opening game of Kerala Blasters at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in Kochi on 5 October against North East United FC.
"He has travelled to Spain for treatment. We are awaiting to hear if he will be back for the first game against NorthEast United," a source close to the club told Goal.com.
Marchena was opted instead of former Liverpool and Norwegian legend John Arne Riise. It was almost the last minute deal. Kerala Blasters coach Peter Taylor did reflect his thoughts on that issue.
"Obviously, that did hurt us bad as we had planned our team with him and we had to make some adjustments thereon. However, we were lucky to get Marchena who is a good player," Taylor said.
In ISL 2014, Kerala Blasters were off to a slow start. They also found it somewhat difficult to find the back of the net. They could only score nine goals in their 14 league games. The former England coach who will be at the helm of Kerala Blasters' affairs, felt that they were lucky enough to make it to the finals of the Indian Super League.
"We scored nine goals in 14 games and were fortunate to be a part of the top four. Obviously, we had a lot of cleansheets which helps. But I would definitely like us to score more goals. Sanchez Watt can be unstoppable if he has his way.
"Last year we didn't start well and this season, playing in front of our fans, we want to do well as a good result will boost our confidence. I'm looking forward to the experience of playing in Kochi," Taylor added.
Taylor also felt that all the teams have improved from the last season and they have also added a lot of quality players. The contest will be of much higher quality this season, he said.
"I am expecting all teams to improve from last season and our aim is to at least reach the finals again. Our players are fit and nearly ready for the ISL. We have a lot of versatile players in our squad and that shall certainly help to beat the fatigue due to the schedule as we play games very soon," Taylor said.