David James praised the depth of the Kerala Blasters side.
Delhi Dynamos started the season with a bang, beating FC Pune City 3-2 in their opening match. But that was way back on 22nd November. In the seven matches played since then, they have lost six and drawn one – and find themselves rock bottom in the Hero Indian Super League table. Another club that wasn’t expected to be caught in the quagmire of the bottom three is Kerala Blasters, but they are in 8th – a disappointing start has seen them recall David James as head coach. His first job will be to secure a victory after a run of three matches without one.
The Dynamos continue to hog possession and stitch up good passing play – but their failure to win has left fans exasperated. Whether the excuse of good performances with nothing to show for it will stand the test of time will be interesting.
“Kerala are strong in defence and very experienced. They are compact and difficult to break down. But it is also difficult for them against us,” Dynamos’ head coach Miguel Angel Portugal said.
“At home it is most important that we win. I think we have an opportunity to win. A point is important for confidence though,” he added before mentioning that he realised a new coach was in the mix with James coming in.
“I know about David James as a goalkeeper for England. I don’t know about him as a manager,” he added with a chuckle.
James meanwhile, sounded confident and praised the depth of the Kerala Blasters side. He did mention that there will be late fitness tests for some, but at the same time, said that all the players were available as far as he was concerned.
“As far as I’m concerned, everyone is available for at least a fitness test. I take that back, there is one player who has an injury so he might not be available. And that’s not C.K. But ultimately, every player will be available for tests which will be one good thing for me as a head coach. Everyone’s hungry (to play) and C.K is hungry, too,” David James informed media regarding fitness issues
“My first job it to familiarise myself with the players. There could be a tendency to watch differently than as a fan. I would be disappointed if we didn’t get the results. We have to get results as quickly as possible. I’m confident, players are confident and that is good for me and it is a challenge,” he said.
Kerala have traditionally been late bloomers in the league and have even managed to make it to the playoffs with a negative goal difference in the past. In James’ first game last week against Pune City, a more direct approach was seen and he even took off Dimitar Berbatov to suit his style of play.
“Two weeks ago, I think there was a thing in the news, I was in Hongkong, about the Delhi pollution. There are parts of Delhi that are stunningly beautiful and I just remember seeing them back in the years. Yeah, so there are parts that are very beautiful but if there’s smog, what can I do about it? Probably not flying would be a good idea, but the travel options with ISL is something beyond my control, so yeah. Still love the city though. I’ve told the lads, to get out. If they get an opportunity, they should get out and see the city, India Gate and what not,” David James said when he was asked about Delhi Pollution
This will be a battle of huge consequences with both teams struggling as the League is approaching its half way mark. The pressure will certainly be on – as after the 90 minutes of game on Wednesday, both sides could get into panic situation.