Kerala Blasters FC suffered yet another defeat to season favorites ATK Mohun Bagan FC in the ISL 2021-22 season opener. Ivan Vukomanovic, however, can draw confidence with the way his side played and showed a lot of intent in the attacking third. KBFC next face NorthEast United FC who also suffered a defeat in their first game of the season.
Coach Ivan Vukomanovic and midfield Adrian Luna addressed the media ahead of their encounter against the Highlanders.
On team news for the clash against NEUFC and on the center-back situation in KBFC, Ivan said, “All players except Rahul are available for tomorrow. I’m sure we’ll find the right recipe for tomorrow’s game. We know the situation and I am pleased to have all 6 foreigners available. Our youngsters have impressed in pre-season and will get their chances. We will train today and make a decision on how to go about tomorrow”.
Adrian Luna, who played alongside Jeakson Singh in midfield against ATKMB FC, showed a lot of promise on the ball and always looked for a pass. Adrian provided some much-needed creative impetuous creating 6 chances in the first game. “I didn’t want to lose the first game. But I think we played well. We want to win not only for us but also for the fans. We’re in the right direction but we must improve. We must not lose the next game.”
On his preferred position on the pitch, Adrian replied, “I don’t care about the position. I just want to play for the team. But if I had to choose, I would like to play behind the striker. As a player, there is a lot of freedom when I play there”.
KBFC played with a lot of attacking intent and was never hesitant to venture forward. They created a total of 10 goal-scoring chances and shared the majority of possession in the first game. Ivan has made his view on football very clear. “We played a good game against ATKMB FC. We controlled most of the game. My philosophy is that I want to attack, attack and attack. But there are times you should defend as well. Conceding early wasn’t the best. I like to always have control of the game. We will try to be more organized and try to be in control more than the opponent”.
Ivan also added, “Offensive football is always more interesting. I like to win 5-3 than 1-0. We’ll look to develop certain young players moving forward”.
Ivan Vukomanovic raised a few eyebrows amongst fans and pundits when he played only one defensive midfielder against an attacking ATKMB side.” Yes, I could’ve played two defensive midfielders. But every player will ultimately come in a 1v1 situation. Jeakson has a lot of difficulty in dealing with Adrian in our training sessions. We want to push them to be the best so that they will do their best in the future”.
KBFC has a huge second game coming up against NEUFC. Coach Ivan has indicated the importance of the game and how a win could boost the confidence of players. KBFC fans would be hoping that the Yellow Army is victorious on Thursday. However, it will never be easy against NEUFC who will also look to right some of the wrongs of their first game.
Either way, an intriguing battle awaits us.
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