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ISL

Meulensteen backs Berbatov, Guimaraes happy with performance

Written by: Ali Shibil Roshan

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Both managers showed contrasting emotions after a hard-fought game on Sunday night.

Once again, Kerala Blasters have failed to register their first win of the campaign in the Indian Super League (ISL) as they were held to a 1-1 draw by Mumbai City. Mark Sifneos took the lead for the hosts, but was cancelled out by Balwant Singh's goal in the second half.

Both sides had chances to exploit each other, but attackers from both teams failed to do so. Speaking to the media at the post-match press conference Blasters gaffer Rene Meulensteen was disappointed with the performance of his side.

"It's disappointing! We were positive right from the start. There was urgency, there was thrust. We created a lot of chances, like the goal we scored in the 15th or 16th minute. I think we lost our way due to a lot of misplaced passes that gave Mumbai a little bit more chances to get back in the game the Dutchman told the media's.

"It's two points we lost from our perspective and a point gained from Mumbai's point of view," added Meulensteen. When asked about Berbatov's role he said "Yes, he (Berbatov) is the player who can read the game and he can start the attacks. He's calm, he's easy and we want to get the ball to him. When players get to their late thirties, they lose a little bit of their explosiveness. He played some excellent passes, going behind the defense.''

When asked whether he would consider amendments to the midfield the coach said, "We look at every game. It is an away match for us. CK Vineeth will be suspended for the game and we'll have to look for different options there."

"We did play well, we did create chances, and the next thing is to create good chances and score more goals," concluded the coach.


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ISL 2017-18 Highlights: Kerala Blasters 1-1 Mumbai City FC

On the other side, Mumbai manager Alexandre Guimaraes was happy with the result. "The reaction of the team was very good. After that moment (Mark Sifneos goal), we played in the way we've wanted to play and we often created chances," stated Guimaraes, who was delighted with the well-earned draw. 

"The team shows that they are stronger, especially mentally stronger to fight back. So, I feel the result is good. This is not the result we played for. We had many opportunities but this is football," he told the reporters.

Admiring the performances of Achille Emana and Rafa Jorda the coach said, "They did what we asked them to do. Emana was much more involved in the game, he was more involved with the ball and we started our offensive movement from there. Rafa Jorda kept the two central defenders occupied and allowed Balwant to move inside and outside the box," he explained

"The fixture for us, in the beginning, was very tough. We played three away. Unbelievable! But we managed" stated the coach in fascination when asked about the match.

He concluded by backing the performance of Davinder Singh "I'm pleased with his performance. He is a youngster. He just came back. He had a surgery. He practised very hard and waited for his opportunity." 

Published: Mon Dec 04, 2017 01:42 PM IST

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