Punjab FC deservedly won the game: Kerala Blasters FC's Vukomanovic
Kerala Blasters FC head coach Ivan Vukomanovic shared his disappointment after his side lost to Punjab FC at home.
Kerala Blasters FC head coach Ivan Vukomanovic shared his disappointment after his side lost to Punjab FC by a 3-1 scoreline in the Indian Super League (ISL) at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in Kochi on Monday.
“Our opponent deservedly won the game. They were the better team. They played better. I don't like to give an excuse for losing several key players. For these kinds of games, the other players have to step up and create good dynamics to win these games,” he said in the post-match press conference.
“Tonight, it's a disappointing evening. Disappointed about the things that I saw tonight — the things that we were not practicing. Apart from scoring the goal in the first half, many wrong decisions actually led us to this defeat. As a coach, it's really disappointing. If we continue with this kind of approach, we can easily lose all the games till the end, that's for sure,” he stated.
When asked to explain by the Blasters struggled to score despite dominanting ball possession, Vukomanovic said: “First of all, it's a lack of quality in making good decisions in the last third of the pitch. If we look statistically, in this season, we won in all the games when we had a lower percentage of ball possession. In games, where we were dominant, having this kind of possession like tonight, we lost. There is no reason for that (inability to convert our chances). We can speak about passing and all these (other) things but in ISL it doesnt count at all. Maybe on some other levels, it can make a difference but here again (in the ISL), the decisions you make in the last third in front of goal (matter)."
“In front of the goal, when we were dominating and creating chances, we were not good enough with quality to score goals when we needed them. Then, there was a lack of responsibility and concentration to concede those goals. It must not happen on this level, especially if we want to stay high up the table,” he added.
“In this stadium (in Kochi), we showed in the past that we can manage harder games and win against better opponents, but tonight that was not the case. Tonight, we were worse. And that's the reality. We have to accept that,” he asserted.
“So then, as a coach, the first responsibility is mine. I have to work on that. And of course, with that honesty and reality, we have to build up further on, and going towards the end of the league, eight more games for us to fight; how and what we have to do it,” he signed off.