SIL 2021-22: The Kerala Blasters dominated Odisha FC as Nishu Kumar and Harmanjot Singh Khabra scored for the Yellow Army in their 2-0 win over the Kalinga Warriors on Wednesday night at the Tilak Maidan. Follow all ISL 2021-22 LIVE updates only on InsideSport.IN
Blasters head coach Ivan Vukomanovic was delighted with the result as he addressed the media after the brilliant victory.
Undefeated in 🔟
Clean sheets back to back 💪🏻
– Kerala Blasters FC (@KeralaBlasters) January 12, 2022
Thoughts on the two striking full-backs
Vukomanovic underlined the diversity of his squad when asked about the two scoring full-backs against Odisha FC. He said, “Yeah sure it shows diversity and let’s say the different things that we have in our team. We have quality players, players who can be dangerous from the second row, players who can infiltrate and can also be dangerous on set pieces. So I think we are gradually improving in different ways as a coach, I am very happy. When you go through such a competition, starting with scoring goals, your opponents will focus more on your key players. This is where you have to diversify and try to mix things up and find other solutions.
“I’m very happy for Nishu (Kumar) because he scored such a great goal in his first game of the season. After such a long time he returns to the pitch as he suffered from an injury and was unable to play for a while. I am very happy for him and I hope he will build on that and come back stronger. I hope he will regain the level he deserves even for the Indian national team.
Speaking of Harmanjot Singh, Vukomanovic added: “He’s always dangerous on set pieces, so he scored a nice goal, which he practiced in our training sessions. So of course as the coaching staff that makes you happy and we are happy with today’s victory. “
“Since we started, we have never wanted to put pressure on your team. I always told them that football is about joy and fun. If you don’t have fun or joy in playing together or playing sports, then something is wrong. Ever since we started training we’ve always wanted to have that joy and that positive energy, but it’s not that easy. When you start to build, it’s never easy to have a strong unit that won’t concede goals. It’s good to see players playing good football with great combinations, running and pressing together. And especially at this time when our captain is suffering and will have to have an operation. So we want this positive energy to stay with us and we want to keep going. “
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The joy of not conceding goals
The Serbian tactician stressed that not conceding goals gives them the right to score and win matches. It adds a different perspective for the players and they sure don’t want to concede a goal. The Kerala Blasters hit an excellent balance once Ruivah Hormipan slipped in at the back. The youngster gave them stability and also the license to play another foreigner from the start.
“It gives you a lot of confidence and pleasure when you don’t concede goals. This means that you are working very hard defensively, that the team is compact and proves that the team does not want to let go. So this is one of the most important facts as a coaching staff and we see that the team can become unbeatable. So when you don’t concede and create more odds, there is more chance of winning games this way.
“We are happy with the clean sheets against Mumbai City and Chennaiyin and this one. I think we’re the only team with five clean sheets this season. But we won’t deal with that because we want to develop a team that can play in many different situations, ”said Vukomanovic after keeping a clean sheet against the Kalinga Warriors.
Reflections on ISL’s Competitiveness
The Indian Super League has been very competitive as Jamshedpur FC took the top spot yesterday and the Kerala Blasters won it back again with their victory over Odisha FC. Despite leading the table, Vukomanovic stressed how humble they have to stay as the league is tough, anything can happen.
“Well, again, it’s good for the league. I will repeat something we said a long time ago. As a team, we have come a long way. And if you look at statistics from previous seasons, you know, in football you have to build step by step, you know that nothing can happen overnight. And we have to stay still, I repeat, we have to stay humble, we have to stay focused and focused. Because if you look at where we’re from, from a distance, you know, last year we were second from the bottom. So we should never announce big roles that we want to compete. The league is good, the league is difficult, many teams want to compete to be at the top of the standings, ”he concluded.
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