The Kerala Blasters assistant coach also revealed that he feels his side have been unfortunate with injuries.
The encounter between Kerala Blasters and Chennaiyin FC ended in a nine-goal thriller, as the Marina Machans put six past the hosts on Saturday night. Kerala Blasters were left to find solace in Bartholomew Ogbeche’s hat-trick, as the loss now puts an end to their hopes of making it to the playoffs. Chennaiyin now move fifth on the table, just two points behind fourth-placed Mumbai City FC, albeit with a game in hand. Following the match, Kerala Blasters assistant coach Ishfaq Ahmed interacted with the mediia in the post-match press conference.
“There were so many defensive (issues), we need to go back and work on those. There were some costly errors, they’ve got a good striker up front and you will pay the price,” Ishfaq Ahmed said to begin proceedings.
“The second half, we started really well. I’m glad the boys actually responded, but again there were mistakes that cost us the entire match,” he added.
The 36-year-old had a few comforting words for goalkeeper TP Rehenesh, who had a poor game against Chennaiyin FC. “He has been playing for the last 10 years now. These are the kind of moments where you have to pick yourself up. I didn’t talk to him yet, I don’t know how he is doing, but he knows that he has done mistakes. It happens, mistakes happen and it’s about how strongly you can come back. I hope he is mentally strong. What has happened has happened and he would come back strong,” the Kerala Blasters assistant coach quipped.
Asked about the declining attendance for Kerala Blasters’ home games, the 36-year-old answered, “I appreciate the 9.000 fans. In Indian football, some of the teams don’t get that kind of crowd. Manjappada are the fans that are always there, till the end, they stand behind you. I would really love to thank them. Whatever results are coming, they still manage to come and appreciate the team.”
“It’s just the process, we have been really unfortunate with injuries. I’m not taking that as an excuse, it can happen. But, unfortunately, it happened at wrong times for us. Nothing taken away from Chennaiyin, they capitalized on whatever chances they had. I wish them all the best. As for us, we go back to the ground and start working again,” he added.
Ishfaq Ahmed cleared the air about his thoughts from the pre-match press conference, “I wanted to clear one thing from yesterday, about the other three teams (ATK, FC Goa, Bengaluru FC). All the top three teams, play ordinary football at times and they manage to get three points in those games and that makes a huge difference,” he concluded.