'We will fight till the end,' says Kerala Blasters FC boss Ivan Vukomanovic after the 2-1 loss to Hyderabad FC

With three more games to remaining, Vukomanovic’s side are still very much in the race for a top-four finish as they can reach up to 36 points. 

Kerala Blasters FC head coach Ivan Vukomanovic; Credit: Twitter/@ivanvuko19
By Sreejith C R | Feb 24, 2022 | 3 Min Read follow icon Follow Us

Kerala Blasters FC head coach Ivan Vukomanovic is optimistic about getting into the top four of the Indian Super League (ISL) standings despite losing 2-1 to leaders Hyderabad FC in Bambolim on Wednesday. The result left the Yellow Army at fifth spot with 27 points from 17 games, just a point behind fourth-placed Mumbai City FC. The top-four teams at the end of the league stage will qualify for the play-offs. Meanwhile the victory helped Hyderabad FC to become the first team to seal their spot in the semi-finals. 

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Goals from Bartholomew Ogbeche and Joao Victor helped the Nizams to secure their tenth victory of the campaign and reach 35 points from 18 games. Vincy Barreto netted a consolation goal for the Blasters in the fifth minute of injury-time. With three more games remaining, Vukomanovic’s side are still very much in the race for a top-four finish as they can reach up to 36 points. 

Meanwhile Blasters went into the game without some of their key players because of injuries and suspension. Forward Jorge Diaz was serving a one match suspension while midfielder Jeakson Singh and left-back Nishu Kumar are nursing injuries. 

Diaz’ absence proved to be the difference for Blasters because he along with Alvaro Vazquez had formed a potent attacking partnership. Chencho, who came in for Diaz had a decent game in front hitting the post once and created couple of chances. But the link-up play with Vazquez and Adrian Luna was missing .

“It is not at all difficult. Despite missing important players, we played well. I won’t use it as an excuse. We wanted to give the young players a feel of playing against the league toppers and feel the power of ISL. We have to continue with our work as the next match is in three days and still, three games are remaining and we will fight till the end and will try to finish at the top of the table,” said the Kerala coach.

Blasters will take on Chennaiyin FC in their next match on February 26. It’s going to be their fourth match in the space of 12 days. Vukomanovic has expressed his unhappiness over the ISL fixtures and stated that his team won’t give up and try and get maximum points from the remaining games. 

I hope we don’t get any more injuries: Vukomanovic

“The fixtures of ISL are not correct because there are 10 teams and some of then have played 18 games and some have played 16. We will be preparing for these three games and fight till the end and try to get the maximum out of it.

“I hope we don’t get any more injuries. We will try to refresh the team to recover before the next match and try to get the best possible team and get the three points,” said the Serbian.

The Blasters heaped praises on Hyderabad and congratulated them for becoming the first team this season to qualify for the play-offs.

“He (Manolo Marquez) is a very good coach and Hyderabad FC have performed at the highest level this season. I wanted to congratulate them and wish them all the best. Because as a sportsman, If you lose you shake hands and congratulate the opponents and continue. That is how I was educated and I wanted to continue like that,” said Vukomanovic.

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