Want to attack more and score goals: Kerala Blasters FC’s Ivan Vukomanovic

Following an upsetting defeat to ATK Mohun Bagan, Kerala Blasters FC coach Ivan Vukomanovic remained calm and backed his team to bounce back ahead of their second game of the Hero Indian Super League (ISL) 2021-22 season against NorthEast United on Thursday at the Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in Margao, Goa.

Vukomanovic revealed that his team played well in the previous game, and urged his team to cut down mistakes against the Highlanders who KBFC haven’t beaten since the 2017-18 season.

The head coach Vukomanovic addressed the media during a pre-match press conference.

Here are the excerpts from the coach’s press conference:

Do you think Thursday’s game against NorthEast United will be different from the previous one, you think it’ll be easier?

No, I think it will be difficult because every game is different. Every game is challenging by itself. It depends on how you start; it depends on how you approach it. We tend to be more focused on ourselves, to control the game and try to make the game easier for us, but we can go the opposite way as we did against ATKMB. Actually, not one game will be easy, every game will be different in its own way.

Last game, you had your first proper welcome to the top-tier league in India. What do you make of the toughness you faced, and what are your preparations for the next round?

We expected to face toughness in the first game. We faced a strong organization from our opponent, I believe we played - if we speak truly - we played a good game. We controlled most of the game. We scored goals from open play. And I think that even seeing that kind of game, we made mistakes and conceded goals. We have to avoid those moments and have control on the game.

We must proceed further with our playing style, having more grip and control on the game. That's the way I want to play. That's the way I think about football because I like to attack, attack, and attack. The intensity of attack changes and of course, controlling the game and controlling these kinds of mistakes, avoiding these moments that we consider an easy go. We have to work hard on these kinds of things and hopefully, it will be better and more enjoyable. For the next game, we will try and play quality football with a well-organized gameplay to create good chances and scoring opportunities. So, we'll see tomorrow.

There was some good build-up in the last game which didn’t affect the scoreline as much. Are the players as an attacking unit adapting to each other well?

When you see the complexity of one team, you need a certain period of training and playing together to know your teammates. And that requires time, it needs a couple of months. Even if you take teams that are champions, not only on ISL level but on any other level, they need time to play together as a unit.

Getting to know each other not only on the pitch but also outside of it, you create a great bond, you create a good team. At every moment of the game, you know how your teammates will behave, you will know their runs, their movements. So, that’s how all the big teams are created.

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