The Kerala Blasters head coach also shed light on Prabhsukhan Gill’s absence.

Kerala Blasters FC suffered a 1-0 defeat against East Bengal FC at the Vivekananda Yuba Bharati Krirangan in Kolkata. The defeat means that Ivan Vukomanovic’s side must wait longer before their Indian Super League (ISL 2022-23) playoffs qualification is confirmed.

A solitary goal from Cleiton Silva was enough to separate the teams at the end of the final whistle. Despite finishing the game with 10 men, the hosts did not allow Ivan Vukomanovic’s men to score a goal with a gritty defensive performance.

KBFC’s head coach spoke to the media during the post-match press conference. He talked about the game and expressed his opinion on various issues. Here are the excerpts from the conversation:

Need to show a fight

Ivan Vukomanovic believes that it was a disappointing evening for his team and that it was important to match the opposition in terms of competitiveness. He said, “It was a bad day for us. When you face these kinds of teams, you must match the duels, the fights, the character, and the mentality in order to get the points. These things are important in football. If you do not match those things, you have no chance in football whether you are playing against a top team or one from the bottom.

“It was a disappointing evening for our side. We created chances and had some moments, we knew before the game that it would be ugly with duels, fights, contacts, and fouls,” he added.

A frustrating evening

While talking about the result, Ivan Vukomanovic mentioned that the hosts had a stronger will to win. “Tonight’s opponent wanted to win the game more than us. This is the difference,” he said while suggesting that EBFC wanted the three points and his team’s failure to capitalize on chances gave the hosts more belief with every passing minute.

“The game becomes uglier with more contact. We were witnessing officials losing control of the game, compensating both sides, not allowing the game to play and then you get one frustrating evening in total. In the end, I was just happy that we could finish the game,” he added while seeming unsatisfied with the officiating of the match.

Ivan Kalyuzhnyi’s absence

Explaining his decision to not include Ivan Kalyuzhnyi in the game, the head coach informed that the midfielder was down with a fever. He said, “It has been 15 days, and day by day, we always have 2-3 people in the group with a high fever. Ivan Kaliuzhnyi and myself last night got a high fever. Today, he got a high fever and could not play and hence was on the bench. That is also why our goalkeeper (Prabhuskhan) Gill was not with us,”

The tactician also talked about how he hopes there are no major injury concerns after the game against East Bengal FC. “In three days we have to play the next game so we go back to prepare for it,” he said in his concluding remarks.

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