ISL 2023-24: Ivan Vukomanovic hails defensive brilliance in win against Hyderabad FC
Head Coach Ivan Vukomanovic praises Kerala Blasters FC's solid defensive performance, leading to their fifth season win and securing the top spot in the Indian Super League (ISL).
Ivan Vukomanovic, head coach of Kerala Blasters FC, shared his reflections after his team clinched their fifth win of the season, propelling them to the top of the table in the Indian Super League (ISL). Following a solid performance against Hyderabad FC at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in Kochi, Vukomanovic commended his team's defensive prowess, highlighting their ability to secure a clean sheet.
Kerala Blasters FC secured the victory with Milos Drincic breaking the deadlock in the first half, ultimately proving to be the decisive factor at the full-time whistle. The win not only elevated Kerala Blasters FC to the summit of the standings but also extended their unbeaten home run this season, with four wins out of five games in Kochi. Vukomanovic expressed satisfaction with the three points and acknowledged his team's commitment to defensive excellence.
In the post-match press conference, Vukomanovic emphasized the team's strategic approach, stating, "We knew that today we would have to run a lot after the ball and stay compact. We knew that we will have to deliver one very good defensive game, not to concede and try to get the clean sheet. That was in our head." He praised the team's mentality and strong defense, highlighting the joy it brings to him as a coach.
Acknowledging the challenges posed by Hyderabad FC, Vukomanovic stressed the importance of collecting points over playing attractive football, especially in the competitive ISL. He noted the difficulty of regaining rhythm after a break and commended his team for securing the crucial three points.
The midfield trio of Danish Farooq, Vibin Mohanan, and Mohammed Aimen played a vital role in shielding the defense and providing stability to the midfield. Vukomanovic expressed satisfaction with their performance, praising their ability to execute strategic roles and their continuous improvement, describing them as "young guys" who are evolving and contributing significantly to the team's success.