Dimitrios Diamantakos struck for the fourth consecutive time in the ISL and led his side to victory.

Kerala Blasters defeated Jamshedpur FC 1-0 in the Indian Super League 2022-23 fixture at the JRD Tata Sports Complex in Jamshedpur. Dimitrios Diamantakos struck in the first half from an Adrian Luna free-kick. The win sees Ivan Vukomanovic’s side remain fifth on the table with 15 points.

The head coach met the media for the post-match press conference to discuss his side’s performance. Here’s what he said:

Thoughts about the game

While asked about the game, Ivan Vukomanovic said that his side was aware that the game will be difficult. He mentioned that it didn’t matter that their opponents, Jamshedpur FC came after four defeats in a row. The tactician said:

“We knew before the game that it would be a very tough game for us. When you play against a team who is coming after four defeats in a row, it doesn’t mean a lot. Maybe their confidence is boosted in a negative way. But these teams when they are coming in these kinds of situations are the most dangerous. And if we, coming after three victories in a row, were thinking that it will be an easy game. Then it’s wrong.

He added, “We cannot and we must not think that we are the best. We need to approach these kinds of games with seriousness. We knew that there is a chance to make something on set-pieces, like we scored. We are very happy with the three points we achieved today, which was not easy. And I’m very proud of my boys and very happy for the fans. Because we continue in a winning row.”

A change in approach

The head coach said that KBFC made a different approach in the game. He said that in the previous games they were more focused on how to play defensively, but against Jamshedpur, they prepared to have more ball possession.

“Yes, it was our tactic for today. In the last couple of games we were playing a little more defensively, not allowing our opponent to come between our lines. Today, we wanted to change that. We had these two weeks break since our last game in Hyderabad where we played more defensively. Today, we wanted to have this approach to have more balls in our possession to move around. That’s the style we wanted to explore today. The changes always depend on our opponents.”

About playoff chances

Ivan Vukomanovic believes that KBFC will reach the playoffs this season. He mentioned that in the last season nobody believed in them and they reached the finals. Like that dream season, anything can happen this year as well. 

“I think that every team wants to be among the top. And seeing out last season, nobody expected us to be in the finals. This year we want to continue with our consistency. We hope we can reach the playoffs because it is not easy. It doesn’t matter that if Jamshedpur lose, then they are a bad team. They are a good team and it can happen to any team. It happened to us as well. We had three defeats in a row and now we have four victories. I think we can be in the playoffs.”

Importance of retaining the same contingent

The tactician said that it is very important to have the same group for some years.

“As a coach I must say that the most important thing is if you have the same consistency with the same coach, and the same coaching staff. Because if you constantly change your team, your fans won’t get the time to get used to it. That means, at any time, whatever you do, you reset and go back to zero. And then you start building up. So it’s an unviable thing in the rules of football. Even last season, we lost some players who were playing ISL at a good level. But we accepted the fact that they go for better ideas.” 

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