Kerala Blasters FC head coach Ivan Vukomanovic expressed disappointment as they lost 1-0 to FC Goa in matchweek 8 of the Indian Super League (ISL) 2023-24 at the Fatorda Stadium in Goa on Sunday. 

The Blasters were on the losing end in the top-of-the-table clash between the two teams, sacrificing their top spot on the table to FC Goa in the process. Midfielder Rowllin Borges scored the winner for the Gaurs, seconds before the half-time whistle, helping them continue their undefeated streak so far this season. Kerala Blasters FC on the other hand suffered their second defeat of the season owing to a young team with a lack of experience. 

The head coach believed his team lost the match due to their lack of experience in such competitive duels. “We knew that it would be a tough game, especially knowing that Goa is a very experienced team with experienced players. We are like the youngest team in the league. I think that we miss a little bit of experience of playing these kinds of games where it goes around one chance, one goal, one set piece and then the chances that you have, you have to try to savour them,” stated Vukomanovic in the post-match press conference. 

The Serbian tactician found a silver lining to the loss as he believed their start to the season has been great and he is happy with the process so far. He shared, “We are happy with our process so far, how we started the league, how we changed many things in mid-season."

The 46-year-old is grateful to the Kerala Blasters FC fans who travelled long distances to watch their team play. Thanking them, Vukomanovic stated, “You know, even wherever we go around India, even when we go in North-East, in Goa or wherever, our fans will be there because the energy and the emotion that it is created in Kerala between fans and our club and our team is, is priceless," he said

"The boys, they like that, the people they like them. And actually, in the last two and a half years, I'd say that something was created that we respect each other. We like to play in front of those fans. They like to come and watch us, especially when we play at home. And that's something that every club should be proud of. We are proud to have this kind of fans. Big thanks to them for travelling here and supporting us today," he added.

The Serbian loved the atmosphere in Fatorda as he felt that the fans here love football. “Fatorda is one of the venues where it's a great pleasure to come and play. The fans are great because they love football. They recognise a good vibration and good quality. You want to play this kind of game every weekend if possible in front of fans because we play for the fans,” he said.

The Kerala Blasters FC head coach concluded the press conference by sharing his approach towards the upcoming matches in December. “We don't know what's happening later in January. So (we are) fully concentrating on the games (on) 14th, 24th and 27th (December). And then we'll see, after that,” said Vukomanovic.