By Khidhir Kassim
The Red Warriors, who won the treble of the league, Malaysia Cup and FA Cup under Hodak last year, have failed to hit top form so far this season, and are currently 6th in the 12-team competition having picked up just 11 points from their opening nine matches.
Since beating Terengganu 2-0 on February 19, they have been held to draws in their last three games; two in the league against Pahang and Perak and one in the AFC Cup against Maldivian outfit Maziya.
More worryingly for Hodak is the fact that his attack, having lost Norshahrul Idlan Talaha, Mohammed Ghaddar, Nurul Azwan Roya and S. Chanturu, have managed just eight goals in the league in 2013, but he believes it's only a matter of time before they start putting away their chances.
"In our game against Pahang, which ended 2-2, we had 22 shots on target," he recounted. "Against Maziya [a 1-1 draw], we had 15 shots on target and they only had two, one of which they scored from.
"In our game against Perak, we had a chance which hit the bar once. We are playing well and only our finishing has been poor.
"At some time this will all end and we will start scoring. I hope this will be tomorrow [Saturday's game against LIONSXII]."
Hodak did also admit his side aren't as dominant as they were last term, but believes their title chances are still very much alive given how competitive the campaign is turning out to be.
"The difference between the top teams and the bottom teams is only a handful of points," he added. "It takes only two or three wins to get to the top.
"On the other hand, two or three losses also mean you are down to the bottom.
"If we had won our last two games in the league, which I believe we deserved to, it would be a different scenario now.
"Kelantan are slightly weaker than last season while other teams are slightly better. As it stands, the league is very competitive."
Nonetheless, the Croat is aware of the size of the task at hand given the LIONSXII have won all their home games this season.
Still, he believes the Red Warriors must focus on their own game and not be fazed by the artificial pitch of the Jalan Besar Stadium.
"I am confident, not just against LIONSXII, but any other team," Hodak declared. "If we follow our game plan I know we can win.
"I know that a lot of Malaysian teams suddenly stop playing their normal game when they come here [Jalan Besar Stadium]. I don't know if it's the pitch or the weather, but I know for a fact we beat them 3-0 in Kota Bharu in our last meeting [last season].
"We also beat them in the first match of last season at Jalan Besar [a 2-1 victory].
"They are a very hardworking team and it will be a very tough match, but I know we can if we start converting our chances."
Hodak will be without forward Norfarhan Muhammaad and defender Azizi Matt Rose, who both did not travel to Singapore.