We have a hungry squad wanting to get better and that makes a big difference, says coach Steve Coppell
In a match which saw momentum being shifted with the two sides, it was Kerala Blasters who came out as winners as they thrashed Chennaiyin FC for a score of 3-1. Kerala Blasters were trailing by one goal in the second half when Blasters decided to shift gears.
When asked to comment on team’s quick turnover in the second half after a poor first half display, Kerala Blasters coach Steve Coppell replied, “I really don’t know, to be honest, we were very poor in the first half. They surprised us with their formation and to play Mendy as the left winger was a huge surprise and it was showing that it was paying for them with the deflection goal. We were lucky not to concede more they had opportunities.”
He continued, “I was desperate for half time to come and just have a chat and try to sort things out. We got more connected and obviously played dividend. We have to thank the crowd for creating this wonderful atmosphere. In the first couple of games it was pressure for some players, but now it is an occasion everybody enjoys.”
Questions were asked about the magical form, which Kerala are in at the moment, he was quoted as saying, “I think it is just a combination of a lot of hard work and the two players joined from Bengaluru have made a huge change. It’s been a really big boost psychologically and obviously, they are both good players. We have a hungry squad wanting to get better and that makes a big difference.”
The local lad Rino Anto was asked to comment on his experience playing in front of the home crowd, he commented, “I am happy for the team and have worked hard for the match. I did not start in the match, but that’s the decision of the coach and I have no problem regarding that. We were lagging behind in the first half but came back strong in the second half and this was a crucial three points for us.”
“Though we conceded in the first half we came back strong and we scored the goals back and I am feeling happy and pride on seeing my friend and fellow Malayalee to score the goal for us”, Rino added.
When asked whether ISL is a slow league compared to that of leagues like AFC, Rino reacted saying, “ I don’t think so because AFC, ISL and I-League are all different leagues when compared to each other. There are lots of experienced players playing in this league, the first season was quite slow but in the second season the pace picked up and in the third season it has improved a lot. And when we look into the second half I don’t think ISL lacks in speed.”
The first blood in the match was drawn by Chennaiyin FC when Bernard Mendy’s shot on goal was deflected on to the Blasters post, but the match took an upturn in the second half as Steve Coppell introduced Kadio Boris up front replacing Micheal Chopra, and Rino Anto replaced Mohammed Rafique. The move soon paid off as Boris levelled for Blasters and then C K Vineeth put Blasters in front with a brace, taking his tally to three goals from two matches.