James adamant that Kerala can turn things around at home
Kerala Blasters FC head coach-cum-goalkeeper David James said that his team had learnt their lessons from their 3-0 defeat away to FC Goa in their previous outing and was adamant that they could turn things around in their next three home games and qualify for the semi-finals.
“Quite simply, it was the set piece that changed the game. I wasn’t overly happy with our performance in the first half but in the first 20 minutes of the second half we were ok. But then, there is a set play, an unmarked man, and we are a goal down. We met a side in Goa who are in good form and we paid the price for it. I have spoken to the team and we know what we have to do with regards to tomorrow,” the former England custodian said at a press conference on the eve of their 12th round match of the Hero Indian Super League (ISL). The Blasters take on league leaders Chennaiyin FC at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in Kochi on Sunday.
Although the 6’4” goalkeeper pointed out that their opponents also lost their previous game by a big margin, he acknowledged the fact that the visitors are a good team and are on the top of the league for a reason, which is because they are good at what they do. “I watched their game against Mumbai and they (Mumbai) are not a bad team, in fact, they are a good team. They (Chennai) lost the game in a similar 20 minute spell which is the trend in the ISL where teams are leaking in goals in 20 minute spells of the game,” he remarked.
“I know it is going to be tough for us tomorrow and I am sure that we are going to need the 50,000 plus fans behind us and we must make them our 12th man. They are very important to us,” James said.
The former Liverpool and Portsmouth goalkeeper brushed aside speculation that he is injured as he required treatment for a groin injury against Goa in the second half but was forced to stay on since all three substitutions were made. “I have trained today and I feel alright. I was a bit worried but I saw the physio and I trained today. This is the first time I can say that as Kerala Blasters manager I have all 29 players at my disposal and available for training, which is very good” he affirmed.