ISL- Indian Super League

We have to stay calm, work hard: Kerala Blasters boss Ivan Vukomanovic

November 5 2023

Kerala Blasters stand at top of the table

Kerala Blasters FC recorded a 2-1 win over East Bengal FC at the Vivekananda Yuba Bharati Krirangan in Kolkata on Saturday to reach the top position in the Indian Super League table. It was a highly entertaining contest between two clubs with passionate fan-bases. Thanks to goals by Daisuke Sakai and Dimitrios Diamantakos, the Yellow Army was able to defeat the Red & Gold Brigade.

Ivan Vukomanovic, in the post-match press conference, talked about staying humble despite the recent run of good results. He was pleased with his team’s performance and the commitment of his players.

Here are the excerpts from the conversation after KBFC’s impressive win over EBFC away from home in the ISL 2023-24:

On the tactical approach

Ivan Vukomanovic expressed delight with the type of effort shown by his players without possessing the ball. “In some parts of the game, I was happy that we were pressing high as well and recognizing when we had to sit back and wait. With the lack of space between the lines, they couldn’t find the openings and create something serious,” he said.

“When all these things and small pieces come together, then you get a mental boost to continue,” the tactician further added as he talked about his team’s impressive defensive performance and the saving of two penalties during a crucial point of the match.

Happy with the young players

Kerala Blasters FC was unlucky to come away from the game without a clean sheet. Amidst several injuries, the Indian players came forward to deliver a sensational performance for the side.

Praising his players, Vukomanovic said, “Three games in a row, playing without foreign players in defence, we conceded goals, but we managed to score more goals than our opponents to win the games. It makes you feel proud. When you see those boys, you don’t expect much of them, but yet they are hungry, yet they want to prove themselves.”

Need to be humble

While Kerala Blasters FC sits on the top of the league table after their recent win, Ivan Vukomanovic wants the outfit to remain humble as a huge chunk of the season is yet to be played. “We have to stay humble. We are nowhere. Maybe after six games, we are on top of the table, but I prefer that we are at the end. There are 16 more big games to go. 16 more big steps, so nothing’s over. We have to stay calm, work hard, shut up and stay humble because we know who we are,” he concluded.

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