Table-topper Mumbai City FC's dream run has been halted by an audacious Kerala Blasters, who now climbs up to the fifth position of the Indian Super League points table. Buckingham might feel threatened by this loss as Hyderabad, the only team to defeat them before Kerala, are breathing down their neck with eleven points on the board and a match in their hand. But the gaffer seemed calm and collected while addressing the press at the post-match conference.
An underwhelming performance
Mumbai City FC for the first time in this campaign looked helpless on the pitch, the blasters maintained their superiority throughout the match, Buckingham quite frankly admitted his technical loss to Vukomanovic when asked to pinpoint the exact moment he realized the match was out of their reach, he said,
"I think tactically it was lost. As I have implied I was very happy with the first half in the six games even though we lost to Hyderabad and tonight just didn't work. We didn't get going at all tonight."
Taste of your own medicine
Kerala were pressing the Mumbai defence relentlessly from the start of the match. Mumbai, who are known for their brand of pressing football as well, couldn't survive the attack from the Kerala wings, when asked if he found the taste of his "own medicine" bitter, he said,
"They attacked us and they attacked us well. We didn't quite get into our stride after the start of the second half and that killed us off a little bit, and then to lose a man to take it to three in a penalty it is very difficult to get ourselves back into the game."
Mumbai City FC couldn't come out of their cocoon at all and at the end of the first half, they saw themselves a goal down. And to make things worse Mourtada Fall saw his second yellow card and gifted a penalty to Kerala at the starting of the second half. At that point it felt impossible for Buckingham men's to make a comeback; the gaffer told how his team survived on the pitch after that disarming incident,
"We and the players adapted. You know we took three in the back playing with ten men in a state and game like that. They played well but again we can get ourselves to a position where we need to be better."
Even though it isn't the first loss faced by the Islanders, it was certainly the first match where the defending champions felt truly lost, the coach said,
"I was very happy with the first six games and how we played even the loss against Hyderabad where we lost three one we played very well in there. But tonight hasn't quite worked, hasn't quite clicked. I am sure we will recover quickly for the next one."
How do you pick the boys up
This match was significant to this season of ISL. The match against Hyderabad had shown that Mumbai can lose but this match showed that Mumbai can be outplayed and truly defeated. When asked how the gaffer is planning to raise the morale of the club he said,
"They would not need picking up"
The gaffer added, "It is football where it happens sometimes. You can't take it too bad. We have eight days for a turnaround we will get better it is important that we really respond well."