With just three games done, it’s still a sort of ‘getting to know each other’ phase for many teams in the Indian Super League. And Kerala Blasters, who began the season with a nice win but lost the last two matches, will be hoping to get back to winning ways when they play Mumbai City FC at the Nehru Stadium here on Friday.
“Last year, in the first part of the season, everybody wanted to see how the other teams were performing, other teams’ styles. And in the first half (of last game against Odisha FC which Blasters lost), we wanted to see that part,” said Blasters head coach Ivan Vukomanovic on Thursday.
“In the second half, we lost the grip on the game in the duels. Tactically speaking, there was nothing special that we were suffering, just the fact that we were losing these crucial duels by conceding goals from throw-in or losing duels and that leads you to concede goals. We must avoid those moments and fight for every so called ‘second ball’.”
He said the unbeaten Mumbai (1 win, two draws) is always one of the biggest title contenders.
“It always comes with a clear point of view that they want to win every game, they want to fight for the title,” said Vukomanovic.
“Last year, we managed to play two good games against them (Blasters won both home and away). This year, it’s completely different because last year is history,” said the coach.
Meanwhile Mumbai head coach Des Buckingham said his side has to be at its best against last year’s runners-up Blasters.
“We know the qualities that Kerala has, we’ve got to be on top of our game to stop that and we also need to continue showing the football that we have done,” he said.