The Italian is keen for his team to build on the impressive win against Chennaiyin FC…

Delhi Dynamos FC head coach Gianluca Zambrotta is looking over his shoulder ahead of his team’s second game of the 2016 Hero Indian Super League against Kerala Blasters FC at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in Kochi on Sunday.

Zambrotta’s team is heading into the match as favourites after their dominant 3-1 away win against defending champions Chennaiyin FC on Thursday, while the Blasters have been the losing side against NorthEast United FC and Atlético de Kolkata in their previous two matches. However, the Italian expects the home team to up the ante on Sunday in front of passionate fans.

“It is the worst time to play them because they lost the last two games to two good teams, NorthEast and Atlético de Kolkata. They play at home, they are hungry and of course they are playing in a stadium with 65,000 supporters, so it’s a big advantage for Kerala. For them this will be a very important match. At the moment we have won just one match so we have to fly very low and we just have to think about this match and hope that in the future we do well,” Zambrotta told reporters on Saturday.

Delhi didn’t start marquee player Florent Malouda against Chennai. When asked if that was a tactical decision, Zambrotta said: “Florent Malouda is a very important player for us. He has a lot of experience and he is the captain of the team. The decision was not tactical but just felt it was not right to have Malouda start.”

Marcelinho, more known for his wing-play, was deployed further up the pitch against Chennai and the move paid dividends as he scored two goals. When asked how important it was for a player to be effective in various positions, Zambrotta said: “It is very important that you have some players who are able to adapt to different situations and who are able to play in different positions. Basically everybody in this league is very strong and also you don’t have enough time. So basically you have to allow the player to understand the situation and modify his position on the field.

“I am very happy with the team, I am working very hard each day preparing and instilling my philosophy in the team.”

The Italian World Cup winner also spoke favourably of his counterpart from Kerala Blasters, Steve Coppell. “I love to study about the opponent team, the technical aspect the opponent coach adopts. Coppell is a very important and good coach and it will be a very interesting match tomorrow. They are a very good team and have some very good players like [Antonio] German and it will be a very good test for us to understand what our real strengths are,” he said.

Zambrotta, sort of, responded in the affirmative when asked if they were looking to score early and then defend deep just like they did against Chennai. “You know actually more than defending, it is more or less a physical problem so like you see most of the teams from the 65th minute onwards are having physical breakdowns, so it is very convenient and important to understand the game situation for your team and keep ball possession to get the win,” he said.

Report and Photo Courtesy: ISL Media