The Blasters threw away an early lead but picked up a point on the road.

Kerala Blasters boss Steve Coppell met the press after his side drew 1-1 at the Balewadi Sports Complex against an improved Pune side.

Kerala won their fifth point of the season with a determined away performance. Discussing whether he was happy with the draw or not, the coach said, “A little bit of everything really. I think every coach realises how difficult it is on a three day turnaround, especially when you travel. So I thought coming here it would be physically demanding for us.”

His team had taken the lead in the third minute, the fastest goal so far this season. But the opposition rallied to get back in to the game. “When we went one goal in front, I thought well that’s it, a great effort, I felt then we tried to protect too much what we had rather than push forward and try and score another goal. I think if we had scored and been a bit more positive in the first half then that would’ve put the game to bed but at 1-0 you’re always on a knife edge.”

The Englishman continued, “I felt if they were going to score it was going to be a set-piece and that was the case. Another deflected shot I believe. Then their goalkeeper made a magnificent save from Farooq. At the end of it, a little bit disappointed but pleased because my players put so much effort in and what was physically a three day change, it does make a difference.”

The game turned into a physical one, with a brawl ensuing between Rafique and Tato. Defending his side, the coach reiterated, “We’re not physical, we just want to play football. We’re certainly not physical. I think there was a bit of a scuffle with Rafique. If you look at the size of Rafique, he is not going cause too much trouble to anybody so I think the referee did okay on the night. I don’t think there was any issues with him, his control of the game was fine.”

Kerala will look forward to their next few games with much anticipation after solid performances and four points in their last two outings.

Photo © ISL Media

Report by Khel Now- correspondent Miqdad. Miqdad is a Liberal Arts student from Pune. A Liverpool fan he’s probably busy watching a sport or writing. You can follow him on Twitter.