By ESPNSTAR.com staff
The Red Warriors, champions of Malaysia in the last two seasons, were held to a 0-0 draw at home to Negri Sembilan on Tuesday, a result that leaves them 7th on the table and six points behind leaders Pahang.
Having won just once in their first five games - a 2-1 victory over PKNS FC in their season opener - Kelantan are looking a shadow of the side that won the treble last term.
However, Hodak believes they have been victims of their own success as opposition teams now set their stall out to defend when playing against his all-conquering side, but believes things could be on the up when they take on Selangor next month following the international break.
"You can see now that teams play with a back five when they play Kelantan," he said.
"If you play against a team like Johor [Darul Takzim] they will try to play an open game and we will have more space. But unfortunately today [Tuesday], like in our game against FELDA [United] last week, they had everybody behind the ball and it wasn't easy to play.
"We need to use the flanks more but unfortunately we don't have the players we had last year, so we need to produce from our young boys.
"Izuan Salahuddin came on and made a little bit of difference but you can see he's not ready to start yet. He's only ready to play 20 minutes.
"Now we have three weeks to prepare [for our next game]. Faiz Subri is coming back from injury so hopefully these two players can make the difference in our next games.
"We have three weeks to rest and prepare and I hope things will be much better after that."
Kelantan's bid to claim all three points on Tuesday was not helped by a couple of injury problems, with key forward Norfarhan Muhammad restricted to a place on the bench while Guinea international Mandjou Keita missed out completely.
Hodak did concede his side were feeling the ill effects from the off-season departures of Norshahrul Idlan Talaha, Mohammed Ghaddar, Nurul Azwan Roya and S. Chanturu, who all played key roles in their success in 2012.
Having seen his side score just thrice in their opening five games, the Croat admitted Mandjou, who has yet to open his Red Warriors account, had to start firing if they were to retain the title.
"If you lose Ghaddar, that's 21 goals [gone]," he added. "If you lose Mat-Yo [Norshahrul] that's ten goals.
"If you lose Awe [Azwan Roya] and Chanturu, that's a total of 40 goals. Our current strikers that have come in as replacements have not been good enough.
"Every point is important and every goal is important, but basically the point of the story is that we need to start scoring.
"I hope that Keita Mandjou will come back and start scoring because a lot depends on foreign strikers."
Although he has had to endure a miserable start to life at the Sultan Mohammad IV Stadium, Keita has shown in the past he has what it takes to succeed in Malaysian football, having netted 50 goals in 75 games during four years with Perak.