Toothless Tigers worry Kraljevic

Balestier Khalsa coach Marko Kraljevic expressed his frustration with his side’s lack of goals ahead of their AFC Cup clash against Kaya FC. 

The Tigers have not won in their last five matches in all competitions since a 1-0 defeat of Kitchee SC last month.

We need more luck, we just don’t seem to have that on our side

- Kraljevic

Additionally, Balestier are suffering from a goal drought after firing blanks in their past four matches. These games have all ended in 1-0 defeats, with one coming against Kaya.

While they are still second in Group F, Kraljevic knows they can ill-afford to lose another game, especially with Kitchee hot on their tails.

“We have to win the game, we have no choice,” Kraljevic said.

“We need to go all out attack to win the game because it is important. We need to improve from our S.League performances.

“The team has been defending well but our problem lies up front. Last year, the foreign players scored 35 goals, but this year, zero so far. Robert (Pericic) is injured,  and (Miroslav) Kristic is being played out of position.

“We also need more luck, sometimes we hit the bar, the post… we just don’t seem to have that on our side.”

The coaches face the media

However, Kraljevic acknowledged that it may be an uphill task tomorrow, especially since the Philippines team are also used to playing on the artificial turf.

The Croatian also expressed his surprise with how good his opponents were when they played in the Philippines.

“There’s no advantage on artificial turf because Kaya play on an artificial turf back home too. More often than us actually,” Kraljevic stated.

“Philippines football has improved a lot. They play a passing game and are aggressive.  I’m expecting big things from their national team at the AFF Suzuki Cup.

“[But], Balestier still have a chance to progress to the next round.”

On the other hand, Kaya coach Joel Villarino is wary of taking things for granted despite leading the group currently.

“We need to keep our composure in away games,” Villarino said.

“Second place is good enough for us, and we are only aiming to qualify for the next round.

“We remain focused on the AFC Cup, despite elimination in the UFL Cup last week… We are expecting a strong support tomorrow at the Jalan Besar Stadium [from our fans], and I really hope they turn up tomorrow.”

Photos: Balestier Khalsa FC