Kerala Blasters FC will be trying to bounce back from their loss in the previous game. Jamshedpur FC defeated KBFC by a score of 3-0. This was the third loss for KBFC this season. The tuskers, who are currently in fifth place in the points table, will face SC East Bengal tomorrow. Prior to tomorrow’s game, KBFC’s coach Ivan Vukomanovic spoke to the media.
The Blasters will be without its major defenders Marko Leskovic and Harmanjot Khabra, who have been suspended after receiving four yellow cards, as well as Hormipam Ruivah, who has been sidelined after suffering a nasal bone fracture in the game against Jamshedpur FC. Coach Ivan Vukomanovic doesn’t seem troubled by it, and he has complete faith in the players.
“We have enough players in our squad, we are a large squad. Some other players will take those positions. They know the position, they know the task. I am not worried, I am confident in these boys. They can do the job because it’s been a while since we’ve been working together. I am glad that some of them will get playing time tomorrow, a chance to prove themselves. Playing these kinds of games is very useful for them.”
“If you speak about the format of ISL, you can never plan anything in the long term. Everybody is obliged to prepare game by game. In a short league like ISL, we cannot plan long term. If some players can’t play, then other players can. I am fully confident in the boys. We are a team that gave minutes to almost all the players in the squad. We’ve played so many preseason games and games in the ISL. They know their job,” he added.
Vukomanovic also provided us with an update on the injuries. Nishu Kumar who was missing from the squad in the last game has returned to training.
“Everyone except Hormipam is available. Nishu was training yesterday. We’ll see the situation in the training session today. We are confident for tomorrow’s game.”
In their most recent match, against Jamshedpur FC, the team suffered their worst defeat of the season. Vukomanovic discussed the game and highlighted where things went wrong.
“It’s never nice when you lose. Now that we are moving towards the end [of the regular season], many small details will make a difference. Many of these small things can make you win or lose, this was the case in the last game. When you are playing tough opponents, you know that the fight will be tough and the small details can make a difference, and it happened, we committed two mistakes which lead to penalties in the last minute of the first half and the first minute of the second half. It just killed the game. We know that we have to be fully concentrated in the next games until the end, for the fights and all the duels and for all these small details that could make a difference, and try not to commit those errors again and gain points. The way we lost the game doesn’t matter anymore, what matters is how we will respond to the game tomorrow, how we’ll go onto the pitch and show ourselves in a good way trying to achieve points.”
Ivan Vukomanovic and Sanjeev Stalin | KBFC vs SCEB | Pre-match Press Conference | ISL 2021-22— Halfway Football (@HalfwayFootball) February 13, 2022
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The Serbian strategist also discussed the impact of the loss on the team and what they need to focus on now. Vukomanovic urges the team to put the past behind them, be optimistic, and focus on the games ahead.
“It’s always different when you lose a game. This is only a moment, this is only a football game. In football, you win or lose games. It doesn’t matter after we lose a game, there will be analysis and talks about the game but after that, it doesn’t matter, what matters is how you respond to the next game. The good thing in ISL is that now with these fixtures, we have games every three days. We lost the game, that’s the past, and we cannot change the past. What we can influence is the future game. As big boys we say certain things to each other then we move forward. This is how it should be in a professional sport. This is how I felt as a former player and even now, as a coach. That’s it you just continue, there is a training session the next day, you continue, you smile, you stay positive, and you try to build up for the next game and this is how you can achieve points in the next game. Tomorrow we have a new game, and we have to be ready to respond.”
Ivan was asked if the team’s lack of intensity in their most recent game was due to the break during the Covid outbreak. To which he replied, “We could use it as an excuse, but I am not the person who wants to use those things. When you play against the teams like our last opponent [Jamshedpur FC], you know that there will be tough duels, you know that it will be a physical game. I can assure you that on the highest level, most of the games during your season are like that. So, you have to be ready for that kind of fight. We knew that our last opponent was a team that plays direct football. We have to be ready for that. It doesn’t have anything to do with our fitness level, it means we have to be ready for fights and duels. This is the football we are playing today and I think in the next two-three until the end of the season, all the teams have to be ready to play this kind of football. In the ISL, you have to be ready for a 95-minute fight.”
Rahul KP, who missed the first half of the season owing to an injury he suffered in the team’s opener against ATK Mohun Bagan, was spotted training with the team. The coach does not want to rush his return to the pitch because any mistakes could jeopardise a player’s career by putting him out of the game for even longer.
“Today he will participate even more in the training. We’ll see the reaction, we will see if everything is alright. We have to be very careful with him because one stupid decision can put him out of the pitch for a longer time. We don’t want to do that, we have to be careful. Him coming back must be organized and well-prepared.”
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