Before their Hero Indian Super League (ISL) match against FC Goa on Sunday at Kochi’s Jawaharlal Nehru stadium, the head coach of Kerala Blasters FC, Ivan Vukomanovic, is encouraging his squad to keep their emotions under control. Vukomanovic’s team will be competing against FC Goa.
The Blasters are working hard to improve their home record, which does not look promising following the team’s two most recent defeats at their stadium. They have a poor track record against the Gaurs, who haven’t lost to the Blasters since 2016, but considering the present condition of both clubs, they should enter the game feeling good about their chances.
Before the match between FC Goa and Sahal Abdul Samad, both Vukomanovic and Sahal Abdul Samad addressed the media. The following are snippets from the press conference that took place before the game:
In spite of the fact that FC Goa was a more formidable adversary than you were in the most recent matchup, you were still victorious. How difficult of an opponent do you think FC Goa will be?
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When we talk about the most recent game, we need to be honest, according to Vukomanovic. We were playing against a team that was now ranked last in the standings. These are the games that require the most skill.
Even in the previous season, when we faced NorthEast United FC, it was a very difficult match because, despite the fact that these games may at first appear to be straightforward, they are in fact traps, and if you are not adequately prepared, you become careless and end up falling victim to them, thereby losing those games.
We were aware that we would need to concentrate and pay attention for the entirety of the game in order to achieve our goal of scoring three points. This was the case, and I’m particularly happy about the players that came off the bench and contributed, in addition to the individuals who got things started right away.
FC Goa, who take pleasure in both playing football and participating in physical conflict, are one of the best teams in the league, and we will be competing against them. As a direct consequence of this, both participating in and observing the game will be enjoyable. Even during the previous season, we were able to put up two great games against them, so I believe that this matchup will be very difficult for both of the clubs.
My Prediction Is That the Team That Is Able to Rein In Its Enthusiasm
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My prediction is that the team that is able to rein in its enthusiasm and focus on strategy will emerge victorious in this contest. As a result, this conflict, in addition to being one that is technical and tactical in nature, will also be one that is emotional in nature. There will be a difference brought about by set pieces and other minor tweaks.
How much solace do you derive from the presence of the people supporting you? Vukomanovic: It is quite enjoyable for me. As soon as we leave the hotel and see the sea of yellow on the street, I am overjoyed and excited because we are aware that there will be a lot of people supporting us.
I adore the feeling because it gives me goosebumps since it’s so exciting. Because being there makes you feel appreciated, you have a strong desire to be there. It serves as a boost to our motivation and inspires us to deliver more for the supporters, regardless of whether we are facing FC Goa or another team.
What are some areas in which the team might perhaps improve? Vukomanovic: The year before, we had the youngest average age of any team in the league. We had the highest percentage of minutes played by our younger players, and we also had the highest percentage of clean sheets.