Both the clubs will be hoping to put in better showings in the rest of the season.
In search of their second victory of the season, Delhi Dynamos host Kerala Blasters, who also have been poor throughout this campaign. Earlier, in a visit to Kerala, the capital club drew with the Blasters, but this match could see a winning team. In their previous outing, the Dynamos registered their first victory of the term with a win against bottom-placed Chennaiyin FC. Meanwhile, the South Indian club drew with ATK in their last match.
Ahead of their upcoming ISL clash, both the head coaches met the media to discuss the season and the match.
Josep Gombau (Delhi Dynamos)
In their last fixture of 2018, the Dynamos notched three points, with a win against defending champions Chennaiyin. Now, as their first fixture of 2019 comes up, they have nothing to lose with the playoffs out of reach.
“It is important to start the year in a good way. We ended 2018 with our first win, which was against Chennaiyin. So yes, tomorrow is a very important game, which we need to win,” Dynamos tactician Josep Gombau quipped.
The Spaniard is having a very bitter debut in India. The former Barcelona youth coach was expected to ruffle quite a few feathers this campaign, but it has turned out to be a sour journey for him and his players.
Kerala have also been having a very poor season. What seemed to be a bright start, has come crashing down for the South Indian outfit. They have already fired a head coach, when David James faced the boot and was replaced by Nelo Vingada. Currently, the Blasters are in eighth place, a spot above The Lions.
When asked about what he thinks about Kerala the Spanish head coach said, “I think Kerala are a good team. Few days back they played a good game against ATK. They have a new coach, with a new system. Players will be trying to prove themselves under a new boss. I think it will be an exciting game.”
The club recently lost their skipper Pritam Kotal, as the defender joined ATK. When asked about his departure Gombau said, “I think he is a really good player. He was our captain. He was regularly a part of the starting XI. But, he got a good deal with ATK and now we need to concentrate on filling the void left by him.”
Andrija Kaluderovic also recently left the Dynamos after a rather failed stint as the club’s frontman. When asked about how his team is going to manage without the absentees Gombau said, “We just want to win games and do good in this competition. Obviously, it is going to be tough.”
For the club, its all about keeping their pride intact with nothing tangible to play for. On this the tactician opined, “We need to develop our players. We have many young players, who are good. Also, we want to take the Super Cup seriously.”
Nelo Vingada (Kerala Blasters)
For Kerala, it has been a pretty similar season to that of their upcoming opponents. They now have Portuguese tactician Vingada at the helm.
The Blasters have scored just 13 goals and conceded 21 this campaign. “This is our second game of 2019, while Delhi have their first match tomorrow. We do not have good results to look back on and it is not according to the level of my team. I am sure that the players know me better than before now and its the same for me too,” Vingada stated.
In their previous clash against ATK, Kerala drew 1-1. When asked about the previous result the Portuguese head coach said, “Well, I think we deserved to win against ATK. We played good and it was to win. But, I am sure that we have a team to play against anyone and tomorrow it will be a tough game for both the teams.”
Recently into this job, Vingada will be aiming for all three points against Gombau. He said, “I am sure my boys have improved and tomorrow we will be aiming for a win. To win, is our first target.”
He also rued the loss of Holicharan Narzary and CK Vineeth, who have been loaned out to bottom-placed Chennaiyin. He said, “Of course, it is a huge loss. Narzary played under me in NorthEast (United. Now, he is an experienced player and plays for India. So, it is a loss. The same goes for Vineeth. Maybe, I will find a young boy who can be a replacement. But, the players I have now are the best!”
Vingada further stressed that the most important thing for his team is to win. He said, “We need to win. We need three points. I prefer winning. We play to win. If you can play good football, the chance to win is bigger.”
Josep Gombau’s squad doesn’t have any serious injury issues.
CK Vinneth and Holicharan Narzary moved away from the Blasters on loan. Zakeer Mundampara has been suspended for six months and will miss the rest of the season.
Did You Know?
- Kerala and Delhi have just registered single wins this season.
- Both the teams have a -8 goal difference.
- Delhi have lost seven games, while Blasters have lost five.
The match will kick-off at 7:30 PM, at the JLN Stadium. It will be broadcasted on Star Sports, and live streamed by Hotstar and Jio Tv.