Despite the 2-4 loss against ATK Mohun Bagan in the opener, Kerala Blasters’ head coach Ivan Vukomanovic is not an anxious man. Kerala Blasters takes on NorthEast United in the Indian Super League (ISL 2021-22) at Fatorda on Thursday and the Serbian sees it as a new opportunity.
“In football, the nice thing is that we have the next opportunity to play a new game,” said Vukomanovic on Wednesday.
Khalid Jamil’s NorthEast, a semifinalist last season, also opened with a 2-4 defeat against Bengaluru FC but Vukomanovic feels the match will be a lot tougher than the opener.
“I think tomorrow’s game will be harder. Every game is different, every game is hard. It depends on how you start, how you approach, we like to be more focused on ourselves, to control the game and try to make the game easier for ourselves,” said the Serbian. “And we want to play attacking football.”
Kerala Blasters will be without K. P. Rahul, the winger who provided a nice assist to Samad Abdul Sahal for the team’s opening goal, who suffered an injury in the opener.
Meanwhile Alison Kharsyntiew, the NorthEast assistant coach, said he looked at Kerala Blasters with a lot of respect.
“They are a very good side, with a good coach and good players. We have to prepare very well, go with a strong mentality and do our best in every department to get the three points. But it will be a tough match,” he said.