ISL 2017/18: "Happy with win, not so happy with the performance," says Kerala Blasters coach David James after NorthEast game
Kerala Blasters earned three points from a hard-fought game against Northeast United FC on Saturday with Wes Brown heading in the winner in the first half from a Jackichand Singh corner. Kerala, in general, didn’t play good football and struggled against a Northeast side that had eight Indian players in their starting eleven.
David James looked a happy man after the game having got the better of his former manager Avram Grant. Speaking about the match itself James said, “I am happy with the win, not so happy with the performance, we have played much better football and lost games, and well this is football so I will take the win.”
NorthEast United kept everyone guessing into what sort of formation are they going to play given they had eight Indian players on the pitch and were without a lot of their regular starters. David James also acknowledged the fact that there were a few mind games going between the teams, and he mentioned one instance where NEUFC were warming up and lining up with a back four but shifted to a back three right from the first minute and that was something which the Blasters hadn’t anticipated. He also said that a lot of footballers who were marked as players who could cause problems for the Kerala Blasters were brought into the game much later and that also had an effect on their game.
“I expect us to concede goals and it's not due to anyone’s fault but its just the way we play," he said. James looked relatively surprised and happy with his team keeping a clean sheet and mentioned that it would go a long way in helping them prepare for the next few games which definitely are two of the most difficult fixtures.
“Really impressed with the way Northeast United played today, they gave it their all, and often in world football we see teams that are in their condition, give up and look for the exit, but Northeast fought very hard and gave us a tough time. I am happy to see this kind of a performance.” The former England number one was impressed with the way NEUFC went about business today despite being ruled out of a playoff spot.
James feels that better quality foreigners now play in the league and the Indians in the league have also got better from season one to season four.
James shared his views about Kerala Blasters' future plans and also mentioned that “I-League is the biggest recruiting ground or hub for the ISL.”
“See even though we want a spot in the playoffs, we have one eye on next season because Kerala Blasters as a team wants to always be the best, and given we have an open market next season we have to start building for next season, and also with the AFC Cup as an added bonus we have to have focus on the team building process so that we can win the title and compete in Asia," he signed off.