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ISL: "We're still in the experimental phase," says Kerala Blasters coach Vukomanovic

Bengaluru and Kerala share the points after late drama at the Athletic Stadium in Bambolim.

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


Archan Mukherjee

Published: 29 Nov 2021 3:25 AM GMT

Kerala Blasters FC played Bengaluru FC away from home at the GMC Athletic Stadium on matchday three of the Indian Super League 2021-21 season, as they hoped to register their first win of the campaign. BFC defender Ashique Kuruniyan scored at both ends as the game ended in a 1-1 draw.

BFC took the lead in the 84th minute courtesy of a shocking mistake from Albino Gomes, who tried to catch a weak shot from Ashique Kuruniyan. The Kerala goalkeeper made a brilliant save from point-blank range minutes before committing the huge blunder. More drama unfolded within a few minutes when Kuruniyan scored a shocking own goal. The left-back attempted to clear a cross from Leskovic corner at the far post, but his clearance ended at the back of his own net.

Kerala Blasters FC head coach Ivan Vukomanovic talked about the result and his side's performance in the post-match press conference. Here is what he said.

On the winless run and his team's performance so far

Kerala Blasters played three games in the season, but couldn't register a win so far. They have lost one and drawn twice.
When asked how his team has performed in the season so far Ivan mentioned that "We had a difficult start as we played three strong teams. We tried a different style of play and we are still adopting our still of play in the league. Players showed a lot of commitment and I'm really happy with all the improvements. We've heard about the rivalry between Bengaluru FC and Kerala Blasters FC so we tried to play more organized football."

"We played a game three days ago and BFC had one more day to recover than us. So, we wanted to be more compact and focussed," the Serbian added further.

On the equalizer

The Yellow Army earned a point from this game courtesy of an own goal from Ashique Kuruniyan. When asked if his team was lucky to get that goal so late in the game, Ivan explained, "Both the goals can be described as lucky to get as well as unlucky to concede. These kinds of situations are quite common in football so you just need to stay positive and build on that. We played our first three games against very good sides and I believe we did well, especially if you consider the performance of the three teams in the last season."

About the team's performance against Bengaluru FC

The game produced only a couple of goal scoring opportunities. Although BFC had more possession of the ball, the game was evenly poised. Talking to the media after the game, the Kerala boss didn't look upset with one point from the game.

He added on the performance, "There will be situations where we would require to play high-risk, attacking football. Similarly, there will be situations where we would need to play defensive with a low block and this has been the case in our last two games and the performances from these two games gave us a lot of self-confidence."

"Our defensive performances have proved that against strong opponents we can perform well defensively. But we need to work very hard in the future and we will continue to do so."

Ivan Vukomanovic says, "We're still in the experimental phase"; [Image Source: KBFC Media]

Are Kerala relying too much on Adrian Luna?

The final question that was asked to him as if his team is lacking creativity in the middle and becoming too much reliant on the Uruguayan playmaker. To which the manager answered, "We have improved a lot since we started our preseason in August and we're happy with the improvement of every individual in the team."

Speaking about Luna he further added, "Luna is one play who likes to have the ball for most of the time. He has the ability to let other players grow and play better. I'm happy with the involvement of foreign players and I'm confident that they will perform much better in the coming days."

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