New Kerala Blasters FC head coach Vukomanovic promises ‘winning mentality’ and ‘hard work’ in 2021-22 Hero ISL

Image credit: KeralaBlasters@Twitter

New Kerala Blasters FC head coach Ivan Vukomanovic has pledged that there will be no lack of effort and hard work when the team begins its campaign in the 2021-22 Hero Indian Super League (Hero ISL) later this year.

The Serbian, who has coached in the top divisions of Belgium, Slovakia and Cyprus, let his thoughts be known in an interview with the official channel of the club on YouTube. “Me as a coach I like to win. Especially you try to give that something extra, that winning mentality to your team. Because if you speak about a club like Kerala Blasters FC, with everything that is going around, this club must be in a winning mentality and winning will to improve and achieve something extra. As a coach, I like to win, I like to obtain certain things, titles, trophies. Of course, we will never promise certain things but we can promise hard work, trying to improve, trying to make this team better and trying to be as high as possible,” he said. 

The 43-year-old appeared satisfied with the talent he has at his disposal at Kerala Blasters FC but also made it clear that talent is not everything. “Let’s say there is a lot of talent, which is not the most important thing, if you speak about creating and becoming a football player on a serious level. There are certain things that I liked a lot and it seems that there are many talented boys over there and especially if you speak about football in India, which is in great expansion. I think that, with the correct work and the correct improvement, all these boys can become better, so there are many positive things,” he said.

Talking about what drew him to the two-time finalists in the Hero ISL, Vukomanovic said: “I have to say from the very first contact with the director [Karolis Skinkys] and all the people from the club, it was really a pleasure to meet all of them. The professional side, the honesty and everything we were talking about… that this project was very interesting to me. So, that was the first opinion.”

When asked about what kind of playing style he intends to bring to Kerala Blasters FC, Vukomanovic, who played for France’s FC Bordeaux, Germany’s FC Koln, Belgium’s Royal Antwerp, Russia’s Dynamo Moscow and Serbia’s Red Star Belgrade as a defender before he took up coaching, said: “Every coach has his own style and the idea of how to play and how to improve certain things but it always depends on the quality you will find in the dressing room, the quality you will find in your players. So, of course if you look at modern football today, everybody likes to see modern and fast football with lots of transition, lots of attacks and attacking animations with lots of goals. If you speak about preferred style, I like offensive football. I like many things, to see how they evolve and of course, to score more goals than our opponents.”

Finally, Vukomanovic left an endearing message for Kerala Blasters FC fans, which is likely to give them a lot of hope after finishing 10th on the points table in the 2020-21 Hero ISL season. “I can tell them we will work very hard to make them proud, to make them happy because they deserve it,” he said.

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