After having the start that Kerala Blasters did to the 2016 season of the Indian Super League, not many would have given them a chance to get back into the reckoning for the semi-final spots. With two matches left in the league stage, Kerala Blasters stand a good chance of making it to the semi-finals after a 2-1 win over Pune City at Kochi on Friday.
Steve Coppell, the manager of the Blasters, was delighted with his team's performance and believed that his team was better against a formidable opposition on the night and fully deserved all three points. However, the 61-year-old did mention about the importance of taking one game at a time and take them as they came.
“We created chances and as long as we created chances any coach will tell you that you have got to be reasonably happy and we also had a few narrow escapes at our end but we are delighted to have won the game, and playing against Pune as they have had some great results away from home and they are difficult to play against, overall, I think we did well and we deserved the victory,” Coppell said.
In the preceding match, Kerala had lost 5-0 to Mumbai City FC after Diego Forlan scored a hat-trick. Coppell would have been expecting a positive response from his side and his players gave him just that as they dominated the game from the start to the end.
Goals from Duckens Nazon and Aaron Hughes were enough to garner all three points for the home side as a late Anibal goal turned out to be only a consolation goal. This was Kerala's fourth win from five games at home and Coppell was pleased by the home fans and hailed their constant support.
“We have fifty thousand people so sometimes that puts pressure on the players and I am not saying that we are very comfortable and have got used to it but we are certainly more comfortable now with the mentality to repay these supporters and send them home happy as we are grateful to their support,” Coppell noted.
Despite being third in the table with 18 points from 12 games, Coppell will want his players to stay grounded and get two wins in the next two games. Kerala's next fixture is against second-placed Atletico de Kolkata at the Rabindra Sarobar Stadium on November 29. Their last league match will be against North East United in front of their home fans on December 4.