The striker powered the southerners to a crucial away win in the capital.

Kerala Blasters FC rode high on Iain Hume’s hat-trick to snatch all three points and their first away win of Indian Super League (ISL) against hosts Delhi Dynamos FC at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in Delhi on Wednesday.

Delhi equalised in the first half through Pritam Kotal’s header, but Hume’s double strike in the second period proved too much for the Lions to overcome, as they fell to their seventh defeat of the season.

Present at the post-match press conference from the visitors’ end was their new head coach David James, who picked up his first win of the season. Speaking on his return and the victory, he shared, “The opportunity to take over as coach of Kerala Blasters was always going to be a yes. The job for me and my support staff is to get a revival. I have to say what we’ve done in the last week is top drawer. It’s been a difficult week, obviously because there were quick games in succession.”

“I’m not surprised, I’m happy, of course. It got tough. We had to make some changes, tactical changes. Very, very happy. It was important to get the three points. This wasn’t going to be easy, the performance wasn’t easy. We had to be disciplined, we conceded a goal from a free-kick.”

He further continued, “What I want is the hunger to improve. I think the players are getting better passing the ball, there’s quality throughout the side. It’s difficult to understand why this side weren’t winning games. I don’t see big flaws on the basis that everyone can push each. They were involved and they pushed each other:

The Englishman was all praise for hat-trick hero Hume as well. He admirably said, “We had Iain Hume here in season one. We’re beginning to see an improvement in everybody. So I’m not surprised or anything. He’s used to this and he told us that he’s going to help us get the three points. He was part of the starting line-up and he’s come off with a potential injury which is a shame.”

It’s difficult when you come in as replacement head coach to understand why they aren’t playing like this all the time. It’s worked today. There’s still a lot of games to go. What we have to do now is to get ready for the next match.”

The former England international also believes the match officials were doing a good job to keep the play free-flowing. “Referees are always the target. It’s easy to criticize them. You can’t take out the human element, that’s only possible with video refs. What I ask as a manger is consistency. There’s an opportunity to improve. Consistency is the key,” he opined.

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A dejected Miguel Portugal, meanwhile, was present from the hosts’ side for the post-match press conference. When asked if a change in the coaching position was the reason behind the Blasters’ win, Portugal replied, “I don’t see a change in the football. They may have changed their coaches but in the football, I don’t see much of a change.”

The Spaniard then summed the entire 90 minutes in just one sentence by stating, “Today only one team played football and they won because they scored three goals. But, Delhi had opportunities for goals.”