Playing at home gives us more power and energy: Kerala Blasters FC’s Ivan Vukomanovic

Kerala Blasters FC head coach Ivan Vukomanovic hailed the club’s supporters for providing the team with the energy no other set of fans in the Hero Indian Super League (ISL) can provide, giving them more power and energy in matches played at the Jawaharlal Nehru stadium in Kochi. 

The yellow army take on Jamshedpur FC next in matchweek 13 of the Hero ISL at home on Tuesday as they look to extend their seven-match unbeaten streak. Vukomanovic feels that the fans will play a significant role in ensuring that. 

“In Indian football, there is no place with the energy like Kerala Blasters FC. That is special,” the Serbian said during the pre-match press conference. 

“Our games at home are very different as compared to away matches. When we play at home, we want to give something extra. We want to be sharp, aggressive, quick in our actions, and create chances. This gives us more power in our home games. With the support of the fans, it gives you more energy and then the players will not feel tired,” he added. 

The Blasters’ opponents Jamshedpur FC have won just one match so far, but Vukomanovic felt their need for points makes them a dangerous outfit. 

“Jamshedpur FC have changed in the way they approach the games. They have made a couple of changes to their squad and have brought in more quality. They were close on many occasions to getting a positive result but they somehow didn't get the points. So they are a dangerous team,” the Serbian said. 

“They are very physical and have strong players. Against Jamshedpur FC, you must be ready for every duel, every corner and every long throw-in, so we have to be at our 100% and not be casual,” he added. 

Six wins in their last seven matches has pushed Kerala Blasters FC to the top end of the table, and a win against Jamshedpur FC will lift them back into the third position. Vukomanovic stressed the importance of gaining form in this crucial period of the season. 

“We are in a positive spell. Even last season, we had a similar unbeaten run in December and January. This is the most important part of a Hero ISL season in order to be at the top and participate in the playoffs which is our objective,” Vukomanovic said. 

“This is one part of the season where we work well. We are now at the physical level and have been repeating the patterns of play and that gives us confidence that we can overcome any opposition and be consistent. We want to continue this in the next part of the season as well,” he added. 

Kerala Blasters FC have found matchwinners from different quarters, with the club having five different goalscorers during their unbeaten run. It’s an aspect that pleases the 45-year-old. 

“As a team, you want to be unpredictable, you want (to) have diversity. If you are occupied with just one of your strengths, then your opponent can read you tactically very easily and then you will suffer. So that's why we work in different ways to be unpredictable and score from many options. That's the way you become better,” he said. 

Kerala Blasters FC goalkeeper Prabhsukhan Singh Gill who celebrated his birthday on Monday, attended the pre-match press conference and highlighted the need to continue their good work. 

“2022 was good for me. I got the opportunity to perform and the team did well as well. We want to continue in the same way in 2023 as well. There is only one way of doing that which is through hard work. I hope to get better results in 2023 than last year,” said Gill. 

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