The coach spoke on the back of his side’s last-ditch draw against Bengaluru FC.

Ashique Kuruniyan’s own-goal just moments after giving Bengaluru FC the lead, helped Kerala Blasters salvage a point against the former champions. Albino Gomes’ error proved to be costly for the Blasters, but Ashique’s moment of misfortune handed them a fortuitous point at the GMC Stadium in Bambolim. Therefore, while the performances show glimpses of promise, the results will surely be concerning for head coach Ivan Vukomanovic.

But, the draw means that Kerala Blasters’ winless streak of 11 games in the ISL continues. They are yet to open their account this season, with only two points from their three games so far. The Serbian expressed his views at the post-match press conference:

Coach’s view on team’s performances

Vukomanovic looked to focus on the positive outcomes from his side’s first three games. He responded, “To sum up the first three games, we faced some of the best teams. We are trying out different styles of playing like high pressing and defensive work. So, let’s say, in the first three games we have performed well. The boys showed a lot of quality and commitment.

“We are happy with the creative work of all the players. If you see the work that we have put in from August there is a huge improvement in every aspect. So, we are happy to have these players. The foreigners are bringing the creativity and quality that we need and we will be getting better in the future,” the Serbian added.

Verdict on game

It was a game of missed chances and mistakes as both teams settled for parity on the night. “Tonight it was a really interesting game. We knew that there are big stakes. There is a big rivalry between Bengaluru FC and Kerala Blasters. So, we wanted to stay well-organized and compact,” Ivan Vukomanovic said before adding, “Also, we were playing after three days, whereas our opponent had an extra day, so that is also important. Tonight we showed our defensive quality with a really strong block and showed that we can be unbeatable.”

The Serbian further added, “I think both goals for both teams were lucky and unlucky. These kinds of things happen on a football pitch. We have to stay positive because we know we were playing strong teams in our first three games. So, we need to continue building and improve ourselves.”

The coach would also want to see his team be more adventurous after dominating possession in the first two games. He reiterated his stance, saying “We want this team to play attacking, high-risk football. But, I always want them to play defensive block.

“We want our team to be unpredictable for others, as it will give more self-confidence to the team. The last two games give our defence a lot of confidence, as we know that we can compete even against the best teams in the league. So, we have a lot of quality, but we still have to work a lot.”

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