News Article

ISL Media

Meulensteen admits bad day at office, Miku performance pleases Roca


The Blues delivered a commanding performance to get back to winning ways as they swept aside the Blasters' challenge.

Kerala Blasters FC succumbed to their first home defeat in Indian Super League (ISL) after going down 1-3 against Bengaluru FC at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in Kochi on Sunday.

Miku scored a brace and Chhetri converted from the spot to ensure the win for the Blues, while Courage Pekuson grabbed a late consolation for the hosts. Speaking to the media during the post-match press conference was Kerala head coach Rene Meulensteen, who called the penalty the game-changer.

“It was a tough game all through,” he admitted. “We knew we had to step up. I thought we started the second half better. But then the penalty changed the game. Then our players struggled. We tried to get back in. But then it all comes down to quality in the right areas. But we didn’t provide that till the last-minute flash in the pan from Courage (Pekuson).”

Asked about his team’s performance, the Dutchman did not hide his disappointment and highlighted what created problems during the match. “It’s (the performance) not good and not acceptable,” Meulensteen stated.

“And obviously the players know that. They probably got carried away by the emotion of trying to make up for the goal that went against them. But you can’t legislate for human error. Simple as that. Then Bengaluru with the quality players they have took advantage of it.”

He also had some worrying news regarding injuries. “Rino (Anto) and CK (Vineeth) got injured yesterday in training,” Meulensteen revealed. “And obviously Berbatov’s injury has been there. Hopefully, we can get one or two back for the next game. I won’t say Vineeth is out long-term, but I don’t think we will see him for the Pune game and the Delhi game is doubtful as well. Hopefully, after that, we can make an assessment.” 

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Speaking to the media at the post-match press conference was Bengaluru head coach Albert Roca who mentioned that it was their second-half performance that made the difference in the end.

“Scoring goals is the most difficult thing in football,” the Spaniard stated. “The first 50 minutes, the balance was the same. But after that, I think my team was superior. After 50 minutes, we created many chances. We were more comfortable. We knew playing like this was enough to score a goal. So, it was just a question of playing the same way.”

Check out the highlights of the game

Roca acknowledged that Kerala had players on the pitch that made life difficult for them. “Kerala have good defenders,” he said. “They have good attackers also to give us problems and deliver good crosses. But we scored two goals in the end when we had so many chances to score before that. So, we have to learn to try to kill the game.”

The 55-year-old also singled out Miku’s performance on the evening and lauded him for the player he is. “Miku is a top player and he has shown that all season,” Roca said. “I hope he will be like this till the end. Today he did his job very well. He is a guy who is not just scoring. He keeps the ball well. He is just the striker we need, and am very happy with his performance tonight.”

Published: Mon Jan 01, 2018 11:45 AM IST


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