The Kerala Blasters tactician was happy with the response from his team after conceding early.

Kerala Blasters registered a 2-1 win over Chennaiyin FC in the Indian Super League at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in Kochi. It was a fabulous comeback win for the Yellow Army who are now strong favourites to secure one of the six qualification spots for the ISL 2022-23 playoffs. Ivan Vukomaovic expressed relief on reaching the 31-point mark. He was happy to see his team make a comeback in the match after conceding a first-minute goal which was slotted in by in-form attacker Abdenasser El Khayati.

The head coach of KBFC was grateful for the performance and expressed respect for the opposition during the post-match press conference. Here are the excerpts from the conversation:

Grateful for the response

Kerala Blasters FC were on a poor run before today’s match and went down to a well-taken goal early in the game. Talking about his team’s character in the face of adversity, Vukomanovic said, “I am grateful when I see this kind of response. Today, I had a good feeling before the game while talking to our sporting director. We had a feeling that the boys will respond in a proper way and even after conceding the goal in the first minute which was unacceptable. We cannot afford to make that kind of mistake.”

“I think the boys were great in the first half, maybe one of the best first halves we have seen here at home,” he added. 

Happy to be in third place

Ivan Vukomanovic expressed contentment after winning the match and solidifying their position at third in the league table, which puts his team in a strong position to secure playoff qualification. “After so many weeks, it is kind of a relief staying on the third spot, getting 31 points, and going into the final three games with a positive mindset,” he said. 

However, he points out an area of improvement for his team to focus on. Talking about the lack of consistency, the head coach said, “What frustrates me the most is the difference between the team sometimes when we play home and away. These are the kind of things we still have to work on, but it is part of the process.”

Finishing woes

Ivan Vukomanovic also talked about being more efficient in front of the goal. He said, “We are champions of making things more complicated than they are. Conceding stupid goals in the first minute; you work so hard to create running lines, space, and chances in front of the goal, when we create those chances, it is up to the players to put their bodies on the line. I would like to go inside and score but it was a long time ago.” 

“I am glad to have all those boys on the bench. Everybody can jump in and do the job,” he concluded while praising cameos by the likes of Bryce Miranda and Saurav Mandal who are making a step up in their career.

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