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Kerala Blasters ready with Puitea replacement, Ivan Vukomanovic confirms

Prior to their encounter in Kochi, Ivan Vukomanovic and Aidy Boothryod spoke to the media.

Kerala Blasters ready with Puitea replacement, Ivan Vukomanovic confirms

Ivan Vukomanovic (Source: ISL)


Aswathy Santhosh

Published: 2 Jan 2023 9:55 AM GMT

Kerala Blasters will face Jamshedpur FC at their home on Tuesday. The Blasters will attempt to oust ATK Mohun Bagan and reclaim third place in the table.

Players Prabhsukhan Gill and Phijam Singh spoke to the media alongside head coaches Ivan Vukomanovic and Aidy Boothroyd. The following are key excerpts from the press conference.

Puitea, one of the Kerala Blasters' core players, left for ATK Mohun Bagan last week. In response to a question about a potential replacement, Ivan Vukomanovic said that the club had planned for the change.

"We have quality players in our squad to replace him. As a club we had anticipated this, and we prepared for it in advance. Before the move happened we had everything ready for our next step. Not as an official confirmation but we are ready for the situation".

Midfielder Ivan Kalyuzhnyi is on a season long loan from Ukrainian club FK Oleksandriya, where he has a five year contract. Vukomanovic was asked about the possibility of him staying longer with the team.

"There were many circumstances which led us to the possibility to have him in the first place. We are keeping tabs on the difficult situation in his home country and everything that is happening there, but yet he's under contract and a player like him costs a lot. If later the player himself expresses his motivation to continue with Blasters, we'll take a call then," the coach commented.

Jamshedpur FC are going through a transition period and the first exit from the shield wining squad was skipper Peter Hartley. Aidy Boothroyd confirmed that it was his decision to let go of the captain.

"I felt that the time was right to freshen things up. He was an excellent servant to the club, but time and life goes on and it was the time to make a change". He also added that the replacement Dylan Fox is ready to play tomorrow.

Aidy Boothroyd was all praise about Kerala Blasters. "For every opponent, you have to give them respect and if they are a team like Kerala, you give them more respect. We have to make sure that we have a game-plan for them. It's not easy because they are a difficult team and the crowd is fantastic. So, we will be working hard to earn the respect of the crowd."

Prabhsukhan Singh Gill has been monumental in the success of the yellow brigade. However he says that having the same pair in front of him helps a lot. "It is an advantage because we (Leskovic, Hormipam) have been playing together for some time now and we have good communication between us. That's important."

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