Happy with the way we responded after conceding the goal: Kerala Blasters FC's Ivan Vukomanovic
Kerala Blasters FC head coach Ivan Vukomanovic was impressed with the mentality and the character shown by the team in their 1-1 draw against SC East Bengal in the Hero Indian Super League (ISL) match at the Tilak Maidan in Vasco, Goa on Sunday evening.
The Red and Gold brigade took the lead through a Tomislav Mrcela header in the 37th minute, which was cancelled by a strike from Alvaro Vasquez in the 44th to help the Blasters salvage a point from the encounter. With the draw, the Kerala- based side are now placed at the seventh spot, with six points from five matches.
Vukomanovic addressed the media during the post-match press conference.
Here are the excerpts from the press conference:
Are you happy with the draw, or was it a win you wanted?
You don't know actually, you never know before the game, what kind of game you are going to get. I think we expected that our opponent today would come with another shape and another idea, and it was the case. And we actually wanted from the very first moment to dominate the game, to control the game. We knew with that kind of high pressure and playing on the half of our opponent that it would allow our opponent to maybe come with dangerous counter attacks, because you have to deal with those things.
I liked the mentality. I liked the character that our players showed today because maybe in the previous season, it was not the case. So I liked that kind of mentality that we are showing this season. We are happy and I'm happy how we responded, how we scored the goal.
And we wanted to push in the second half. It was obvious that in the second half again, that we were the dominant side, the better side. We wanted to push, we wanted to create openings to create chances. But you know, sometimes when the teams are well organized, you have to deal with the good organization, we have to deal with defensive moments that you have to avoid, and you have to create good chances.
You made a lot of changes in the second half, what was the reason behind that?
Actually, we had difficulties and at the end of the first half, we changed Enes (Sipovic) from the back. In the second half, knowing that their right back had already been shown a yellow card, we wanted to put Chencho (Gyeltshen) with the speed, trying to influence the game, trying to make a difference with certain things. I'm happy how we further pushed our opponents to their blocks. Of course they had their moments in the counter attacks, but like I said, you have to deal with those things.
How important will it be to collect points from the next game against Mumbai City FC, with them leading the points table and Kerala Blasters FC also having ambitions of making it to the top four?
We have to be honest and admit that for us, every game will be hard. And for us, every game will be kind of difficult, we have to deal with it and we have to prepare, like we prepare for every other game. So of course you have good opponents, you have less good opponents, but anyway, every game is different.