We stay positive irrespective of the result tonight: KBFC head coach Ivan Vukomanovic

Kerala Blasters FC head coach Ivan Vukomanovic wants his team to keep their heads up and move on to the upcoming game after his side suffered their second consecutive defeat in the Hero Indian Super League (ISL) against Odisha FC at the Kalinga Stadium, in Bhubaneswar, on Sunday.

Harmanjot Khabra opened the scoring for the Blasters in the first half but it was short-lived as the Kalinga Warriors fought back through goals from Jerry Mawihmingthanga and super sub Pedro Martin in the second half to steal a comeback win.

Report: Odisha FC make a stunning comeback to register their first home win of the season

Vukomanovic was adamant on how the game was won and lost in moments and admitted that their opponents were slightly better than his team on the day. The head coach felt that his team can get better on an individual level and need to try and work on their recurring errors.

The Serbian also praised the fans in high regard and demanded them to keep supporting them wherever they go in the official post-match press conference.

Here are the excerpts from Ivan Vukomanovic’s press conference:

It was a brilliant start to the match tonight. What went wrong in the second half?

We predicted today’s game to go ugly and with both teams fighting over the ball, there were many duels which needed to be won, especially the aerial duels and the second balls. At a particular time in the game, we were pretty good and had everything under control while scoring a goal.

In the second half, we did not manage to replicate what we did in the first half by not winning those duels and it put us in a moment of trouble. But even after the first goal that we conceded, we knew what we needed to do and control the situation. It was a very cheap winning goal given away by us, which as a coach, makes you frustrated because there were equal amounts of chances created from both sides tonight. We stay positive no matter what the result was tonight and follow the rule set by the club wherein if we lose or win, we forget all about it the next day and get down to work for the upcoming game.

Is the scoreline a fair judgement to how your performance was tonight?

If you see the situation that occurred in the first and second half, there were no tactical movements and overloads which would bring a single team into a tough spot. The game, tonight, was fair if you consider the stats and tactics, and it was balanced overall. It was won in moments and different patches by the opposition where they scored the winning goal.

We scored the first goal through a set-piece and conceded the first goal from a throw-in. While the winning goal we conceded was from a long ball which is again, about the moments in the game. But there was definitely a bit more for us in the game, and on an individual level we need to better ourselves.

Did you find anything tonight which made the opposition (Odisha FC) better than you on the matchday?

They are a tough team and had a great campaign in the last season of Hero ISL. Even last season we had played a friendly against Odisha FC and faced a competition. For us, every game is a fight to win all three points.

The finishing was more of a problem for your side tonight. But, were you happy with the possession your team had?

There are a number of aspects in the game which need to be looked into, possession of the ball, pressing, and finishing being a part of it. We created quite a few chances in the previous game and this is the sort of work we need to continue practising. We are not much concerned and will start working again for the next game while trying to improve the errors.

You play an attacking and pressing style of football rather than wanting to stay back and defend. Do you think that is working against your game plan?

Today, we were not much offensive and pressed higher up the pitch. Although, we did stay in a position because the opposition had it coming for us and we wanted to neutralise that and other plans of Odisha FC. We wanted to stay compact and composed to reduce the space and try and use it in our favour while trying to take the ball forward. We did have chances in the second half to react and score a goal or two, but unfortunately we ended up being on the other side and that is how football works.

The Kerala Blasters fans are still chanting and staying back for the team. Would you like to say a few words for them?

We have the best fans in the league. Wherever we will go they (the fans) will be there and the team will be playing for them. It is a pleasure to be a part of this football club.

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