Balestier just need luck, says Kraljevic
Kraljevic just wants Lady Luck to smile on them again
BALESTIER KHALSA v KAYA FC
(Tonight, 7.30pm, Jalan Besar Stadium)
He walked into the room at Hotel Royal wearing the look of a man bearing a heavy weight on his shoulders, but Balestier Khalsa coach Marko Kraljevic still managed a smile.
With just two goals to their name, Balestier remain the only side without a win in the Great Eastern-Yeo's S.League this year, but Kraljevic believes there is little more he can do to get his Tigers to start baring their teeth, except wait for Lady Luck's smile.
They face Kaya FC of the Philippines in the AFC Cup tonight, in a Group F top-of-the-table clash they believe is a must-win fixture, and the Balestier coach insisted they will not do anything different.
"We must forget about the S.League and focus on this game; we're struggling a little in the league, and hopefully this game can help (turn things around)," said the Croat.
"There is not much calculation; we have only one choice, to win this game, and we must go all out because only winning can keep us in the running for the next round.
"But there is not much to change, we need to change our luck, pray harder, and hopefully sunshine comes (today)."
Tonight's visitors lead the group on six points, with Balestier just two adrift in second position with Hong Kong's Kitchee FC. New Radiant prop up the table with two points.
With chief striker Robert Pericic out with a knee injury, Balestier have struggled in front of goal all season.
"It is not rocket science, last year we had three foreign players who scored 35 goals, this year we've got zero (goals from foreign players). The first is injured, the other is playing in a different position (than he's used to)," said Kraljevic, in reference to Pericic's absence and Miroslav Kristic being deployed out of position.
"Our problem is up front. We defend well, that's clear, only Albirex Niigata have a better defensive record than us."
Balestier have amassed just three points from seven games in the S.League but have let in only six goals so far, with leaders Albirex conceding just five.
Kaya coach Joel Villarino is wary of a Tigers' backlash, saying: "I know Marko has prepared for this (game) and we have to go one step further to take them on... and we just have to keep our composure.
"Second place (in the group) is good enough for us and we are only aiming to qualify for the next round."