Anas focussed on performance for national attention
Anas Edathodika is expected to play a crucial role for India in the AFC Asia Cup 2019. However, due to lack of game time with Blasters, there are doubts about his future with the national team. Anas says that he has never considered himself to be an automatic pick and is determined to put his head down and fight for his spot. “I am a player who only started playing for India at the age of 30. I have missed six matches. It might affect me or it might not. I have to focus on my performance and get back on the pitch. The coach makes his selections,” he said.
Results have not gone their way despite some strong performances. They look to alter that trend against FC Goa who are in high spirits after securing a comeback win against Delhi Dynamos. “I consider Kerala a direct rival. If we win, then that should leave us nine points clear of them,” FC Goa coach Sergio Lobera said.
Goa have lost only once in the league. However, Singto feels that the free-scoring Goan side does have a chink in their armour. “With due respect to Goa and as much as we know
that they are an attacking team, if you see their record, they do concede goals also,” Singto said. FC Goa have scored the highest number of goals in the league with 18 goals. Ferran Corominas has six goals and Edu Bedia has four as Lobera’s men have scored for fun so far. However, they have kept only a single clean sheet so far and some feel that there is an over-reliance on Coro. “He needs a team behind him to score the goals that he has been scoring,” Lobera said. Blasters will have to be at their defensive best against the likes of Coro and defender Anas Edathodika could play a crucial part in that. The India international arrived at Blasters amidst a lot of fanfare. However, he hasn’t featured in the six games so far. The Kerala defender had to serve a three-match suspension which had been carried over from last season.
Head coach David James didn’t pick him for the next three. However, he could line up alongside compatriot Sandesh Jhingan on Sunday. “I had to serve a 3-match ban and then the team had become almost set defensively. But I am always there for the team and the coach,” Anas said.
Meetings between the two have never ended in a goalless draw. And Singto knows that they have to start scoring more to win games. “It’s a question of creating chances and scoring more goals. We have to start winning.”
Saturday’s result: ATK 1-0 FC Pune City