Kochi: The fourth edition of the Indian Super League is just about to begin in a short time and Kerala Blasters will take on defending champions ATK in the opening fixture, in what will be the replay of last season’s final. Both the teams have had their preparations for the clash, aware of the fight the opposition can put up. Kerala’s preparations however received a huge jolt as star defender Wes Brown suffered a thigh strain.
The former Manchester United player, although new to the league, is an important figure of the Kerala Blasters and was expected to partner Sandesh Jhingan at the heartbeat of the defence against ATK, but now is down injury, although the extension of his injury is still uncertain.
Rene Meulensteen, coach of the Kerala Blasters informed about the injury, stating that the player is suffering from a strain in his thigh and the team’s technical staff is monitoring the situation. Brown could well be out of contention for the first match against ATK, if he does not recover on time, said the former Sir Alex Ferguson assistant, reported Sportskeeda.
It comes as a big blow to the two time finalists, who were banking on the former Manchester United defender to lead the defence and will only hope that he recovers soon. But given the depth of Kerala’s squad, they have enough firepower in them to cover up the injury.
The failure to cross the final hurdle, twice in three seasons, prompted a drastic change in the Yellow Army setup. As a result some of the big names right from the head coach to players has been signed, in a bid to change their fortunes. While coach Meulensteen had been present in various roles, from the youth setup to the senior team at Manchester United, star striker Dimitar Berbatov, is a former Champions League winner with the ‘Red Devils’ and is a Bulgarian legend. So is Wes Brown, who was part of the famous 1998-99 United squad that won the historic treble and was considered by many to be one of the best English defenders of his time.
The talent in the Indian pool of the Blasters’ is not less and they possess some of the most skillful players of the country. All these aspects, regardless of the injury would not deter their title ambition and they are surely a contender, this time around.