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Matej Poplatnik: I still receive messages from Indian supporters

Sat 13 March 2021 | 8:16

The Slovenian forward spent two years at Kerala Blasters before joining Livingston.

Matej Poplatnik

joined

Kerala Blasters

with a €300Th deal in 2018. The Blasters are one of the top teams in the Indian Super League and part of their popularity is due to the club’s previous co-owner

Sachin Tendulkar

who is known by his nickname Master Blaster. Poplatnik left the Blasters in July 2020 but says he has been highly impressed with the club’s fan base.

“I have only good memories of India. I was lucky because I played for one of the biggest teams there.

“The fan base there is amazing. I’m still receiving a lot of messages from the Indian supporters.

“That was the biggest surprise for me because when we arrived for a match, the stadium was full. The fans would be screaming for us.

“It’s such a change because now here in Scotland, OK it’s because of Covid, but we don’t have fans in the stadium.

“But even usually we don’t see the stadium full two hours before the match like in India.

“The record for our stadium in Kochi was 85,000. Our fan base was so big that whenever we went away, it was like a home match because our supporters came out.

“It was amazing. Every player dreams of playing in front of a crowd like that. As a striker, when you scored in those matches, the feeling was amazing.

“It’s hard to get your head round that now but I am a professional and I just have to be focused for Livingston.

“India was one of the best things I’ve experienced in my life.”

Poplatnik admits his only motivation for parting ways with the Indian club was the brief nature of the ISL’s five-month season.

“I didn’t know what kind of football it would be but I must admit, I was surprised (by the quality).

“The biggest problem over there is the season is too short. They play for only five months and because of that, it’s better to be here in Scotland because you play for a minimum of 10.”

Livingston have not been able to win any of their last six games and Poplatnik believes the lack of confidence is one of the major reaseons behind their unsuccessful run.

“It’s good to be back but of course it was disappointing to miss the final.

“Unfortunately I couldn’t be part of the final – but I’d have preferred to be out of the team and see us win the cup. I was unlucky, maybe next time.

“Maybe confidence is the problem now. When you look back at the start of the season nobody expected we would play 14 matches unbeaten.

“Maybe it’s a little to do with confidence or maybe other teams look at us now in a different way and are preparing for us because most of the time after that run, we were the favourites.”

Livingston will play their next Scottish Premiership match against

Hamilton

on Saturday.


source: SportMob