Vasco: Kerala Blasters FC will face Odisha FC in their next game of the Indian Super League (ISL) on Sunday at the Tilak Maidan Stadium here in Goa.
Kerala Blasters FC head coach Ivan Vukomanovic believes his team must strike the right chord between defence and attack to get past Odisha FC in their fourth game of 2021-22 season The 44-year-old admired Odisha FC’s quality of play and lauded their calibre of national team players in the squad.
However, Vukomanovic urged his team to convert their chances to get the three points while also laying emphasis on his team’s lack of quick decision making in the final third.
“It’s an interesting thing in football when you play attacking football, it opens some possibilities for the opponent and you may concede some goals then everybody starts speaking on how poor the defence is. When you play a good defensive game and still create chances, everybody says there are no goals, but this is what football is all about,” Vukomanovic said while addressing the media ahead of the match.
“We have to find the right balance, we have to convert our chances and not concede any goals. We as a team want to work harder on many things to become better and to be the team to get their desired results,” he said.
Vukomanovic said, “We played against Odisha in the pre-season friendlies, we know they have some qualities. As a team, you have to be prepared to face those set-pieces, so it is not only that we’re going to do but it is one of the aspects we’re preparing for. Every game, we have to prepare our best against any opponent.”
“In our first game against ATK Mohun Bagan, we were playing offensive football, we created chances, scored two goals yet conceded four goals,” he said.
“We dominated the game against NorthEast, I firmly believe we should have won that game because we were better on the pitch, we had the chances to kill the game and get those three points. It didn’t happen because we were not precise enough with the finishing,” Vukomanovic said.
“You also have to factor in the fatigue level into the play, we played three games in nine days and have one less day to recover than our opponents. In the last game, we had moments where we needed to exploit the spaces in between. We were missing the last pass, quality finishing, and the decision making when it came to finishing,” he added.
On the other, Odisha FC head coach Kiko Ramirez stressed on the need to keep on improving the players individually ahead of the match against Kerala Blasters FC Ramirez’s team have won both their opening matches, having beaten Bengaluru FC and SC East Bengal.
“We need to improve a lot of things and we are working on that ahead of the next match, maybe not to lose the concentration in some moments of the match and losing the control of the game because the last minutes (against SC East Bengal) were quite crazy,” Ramirez said.
“We are scoring goals in different ways. We will keep working on that. We will keep working on the players to find the best version and keep improving their individual capabilities of each one and also try to make more attempts so that we score,” he said.
Ramirez said, “We played a friendly match against Kerala Blasters FC during their pre-season. So we faced them and we know they are a good team, they are working good. Maybe they are not having good results, but it would be a hard match for everybody.”