We want to continue being a tough team to beat: Kerala Blasters FC’s Ivan Vukomanovic
Kerala Blasters FC head coach Ivan Vukomanovic was happy with his side’s performance as they played out a tense 2-2 draw against ATK Mohun Bagan in the Hero Indian Super League (ISL) at the Tilak Maidan Stadium on Saturday. The result extended the gap between KBFC and fifth placed Mumbai City FC to two points, with the former now having 27 points from 16 matches.
It was a quickfire start to the match with a goal each for KBFC and ATKMB in the opening 10 minutes. A second-half Adrian Luna goal gave Vukomanovic’s side the lead. However, a stoppage-time strike by Joni Kauko meant that the game ended in a stalemate.
This result keeps Kerala Blasters FC in the top four and three points behind league leaders ATK Mohun Bagan.
Head Coach Ivan Vukomanovic addressed the media after the match. Here are some excerpts from his press conference:
How good has Adrian Luna been for you this season?
When we started organizing our vision, we were searching for certain profiles that we wanted to have in our team. And Adrian was one of the guys that we signed. We are very happy with him as a player, as a person, as a personality in our dressing room, his mentality, him showing you the right example, in the right moment, fighting for every inch of the field. And then many other players, when they follow that example, then you become stronger as a unit. And when you have more players on your team like Adrian, then like I was mentioning months ago that we would like to build up a team that is hard to beat. Of course, there are victories, there are losses, there are draws, you have to continue. But somehow we are the team that is really tough to beat and we want to continue being that. In the last four games, we want to manage to get the points because we want to compete with the best in this league, we want to be in the top four.
Will dropping two points today be costly in your aim to make it to the semi-finals?
We don't know, it could happen. But we still don't know because there are many other direct duels. There are many other games that, of course, everybody is watching. So we have four games that we have to manage to play and to get points from those games. And without even taking care of other circumstances, we have to manage our moments, we have to play our games to get the points from our games in order to be there in the top four. So whatever happens this season, I think that since we started and again if you look where we were standing in the previous years, I think that we made a huge step forward, but we have to continue building up because we want to be among the best we want Kerala Blasters to be there because of the millions of fans following us. They deserve joy, they deserve to be happy and proud of us.
Was the late Jorge Diaz red card avoidable?
In these types of games, when there are so many unpredictable things, there is adrenaline, there are emotions, sometimes there are certain things that make you just explode as a player. They were affected and they were frustrated by many decisions tonight. It's not about referees, these guys, I like them all. I believe they're doing their best, but sometimes some of those decisions just provoke the emotions and the reactions that some players show. So, these kinds of things are always avoidable. But, that's football. These kinds of things happen. So, we have to continue. I'm sorry that we will not have him for the next game because he's one of the important players in our squad. So we'll have to continue. We will calm down tonight and go for a nice dinner.