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Playing for a draw is not my philosophy-Zambrotta

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The Italian coach believes that Kerala are strong opponents...

Delhi Dynamos FC head coach Gianluca Zambrotta has made it clear that his team won’t be playing for a draw when they take the field against Kerala Blasters FC in their first leg of the second semi-final of Hero Indian Super League 2016 at Kochi’s Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium on Sunday. The Lions are playing the second leg of the tie at home, leading to speculation that tomorrow Zambrotta’s men may not be as aggressive as they had been in the league stage - scoring a whopping 27 goals, highest by any team - but speaking to the media ahead of the match, the Italian dismissed any such suggestions.

“Playing for a draw is not my philosophy and we always try to win and we try to do our best and sometimes it happens and sometimes it doesn’t, and to be attacking we have got to be compact and you have also got to pay attention to your opponent and Kerala is a very difficult team for us, so we have got to pay attention to them,” Zambrotta said.

“When I was a player I loved to attack and unfortunately, I did not score many goals, and I tried to give this mentality to my team that to attack you have got to run and you have got to have a good attitude as a team and that if you just attack, then you will be in trouble.”

Talking about their opponents, the World Cup-winner said: “Kerala have a very strong rhythm in the first fifteen- twenty minutes. Also, we have to see the situation of the match tomorrow. Basically, we have to start with the idea that tomorrow will be a very strong match for Delhi Dynamos.”

Shedding light on his strategy for tomorrow’s game, Zambrotta said: “It all depends after the match starts. They will start strong and we have got to adapt to the situation of the match and if the rhythm of the match is defensive then we must be aware of any opportunity and be smart to utilise it.”

Kochi has consistently seen over 50,000 spectators flocking to the stadium this season and Zambrotta admitted his players were excited by the prospect of playing in front of so many people. “Yes, the players are excited and it is very interesting to play in Kerala in front of so many spectators and it is a fantastic atmosphere. I think it is one of the best places to have a semi-final because of the exciting atmosphere,” he said.

When asked if CK Vineeth, Kerala’s highest scorer this season with five goals from six games, will attract any special attention from him in terms of strategies, Zambrotta said: “To be honest, we have to pay attention to all Kerala players and it’s no use focusing only on one player and we will need to focus on all the players and it will be intense.”

Report and Photo Courtesy: ISL Media

Published: Sun Dec 11, 2016 11:16 AM IST

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