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ISL: "We plan to neutralize opponents' strong points," says Kerala Blasters FC coach Ivan Vukomanovic

While attending the Media after their comfortable win against Mumbai City FC, Kerala Blasters Head Coach Ivan Vukomanovic spoke in depth

ISL: Im proud of the players mentality and mindset, says Kerala Blasters head coach Ivan Vukomanovic

ISL: "I'm proud of the players' mentality and mindset," says Kerala Blasters head coach Ivan Vukomanovic


Triyasha Chatterjee

Updated: 20 Dec 2021 2:49 PM GMT

Kerala Blasters FC registered their second win in the Indian Super League. They toppled group toppers Mumbai City FC, by 3-0 in the process. Mumbai City FC were rendered to 10 men after Mourtada Fall was given marching orders.

The Yellow Army opened the scoring in the 27th minute when Sahal Abdul Samad rendered custodian Nawaz helpless with his powerful shot. However, coming back from the break, Mumbai looked to redeem themselves but it was all in vain. Alvaro Vasquez doubled the lead in just two minutes with an outstanding volley. The third came from Jorge Pereyra Diaz who calmly converted an awarded spot-kick after Mourtada Fall was booked.

With a sensational win in the bag, Kerala Blasters FC head coach was in all highs as he spoke to the media.

Alvaro Vazquez in action; Via ISL

On facing Mumbai City FC

Despite the loss, Mumbai City FC has been a great team with a steady momentum. It was a huge challenge for Ivan Vukomanovic and his squad to emerge victorious against them. Speaking of the challenge, the coach said,

"First of all it's down to the huge amount of work these boys have been doing and to the change in mindset where the players are committing everything to get a win, being strong and not conceding goals. These are the details that are very important in a football match."

Adding to that, he was all in praise for his men, as he said,

"I think tonight the boys showed great skill and motivation to face a champion and a team that is now sitting at the top of the table. We wanted to press them high. We wanted to neutralize their key players, key points and allow some other players of Mumbai City FC to build-up from behind. I'm happy that the boys understood the game plan and they showed it on the pitch. I feel so proud of them."

On Sahal Abdul Samad

The previous AIFF Emerging Player of the season, Sahal Abdul Samad was going through a rough patch finding it hard to be on the score sheet. However, he seemed to have found his rhythm with the stunning opener against Mumbai City FC. Talking about Sahal's performance the coach said,

"I'm very happy with him. He is a great player with great potential. He can become an even better player because he has a big margin for improvement. We want to help him to score even more goals this season in the ISL."

On negatives from the win

Despite the huge win, Coach Vukomanovic asserted certain points in the game, where he thought his team could have done better. He claimed to have felt that his team should have scored after the opponents were down to 10 men. He was quoted saying,

"In the second half, I was not happy with the part of the game because we should have been calmer on the ball, more patient and more decisive with the last pass. Probably with all these things we could have scored even more goals."

On the ISL leaderboard

With their win, Kerala Blasters sit at the fifth position with nine points from six games. On being asked about his thoughts on the ISL table, the Coach was seen saying,

"I have to be honest and think that I'm sorry for our two lost points at Fatorda against North East United FC and maybe also in our last game against SC East Bengal where we had two cancelled goals. We are missing those points."

On his objective

Kerala Blasters might have had a shaky start but they seem to have picked up their pace. On the objective ahead, the gaffer said,

"Our objective this season is to prepare game by game. We plan to neutralize opponents' strong points and use the weaknesses. With this aspect, we want to improve as a team this season and try to be competitive and unbeatable."

The coach further spoke on the importance of the clean sheets in the game. He said,

"If you have clean sheets, it gives you more and more confidence. We now have two games in the next couple of days. We have the rhythm with us so we will prepare and try to become even better."

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