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Kerala Blasters' Ivan Vukomanovic: People in India like to see miracles happen overnight

5:24 PM IST 05/03/22
Ivan Vukomanovic Kerala Blasters ISL 2021-22
Kerala Blasters are on the cusp of making it to the play-offs for the third time in their history...

Ivan Vukomamonic is pleased that Kerala Blasters have their fate in their own hands of making it to the Indian Super League (ISL) play-offs as they take on FC Goa on Sunday in their final league stage game.

Should the Blasters make it to the semi-finals of the competition, it will be for the third time in the club's history and for the first time since 2016.

What was said?

With 33 points from 19 games, the Yellow Army have surpassed a few of their prior records like acquiring most points and most wins in a season. This is also the first time that they will finish the league stage with a positive goal difference.

"If you speak about ISL in the short term, I see that many people here in India would like to see miracles happen overnight or over one month. In football, that’s impossible because if you want to be consistent, if you want to create and have big results and big achievements, you need time to build up all those things. So later on, we’ll see about the consistency about continuing working together," said Vukomanovic.

"The more we stay together, the longer we stay together, the results will be better. In professional sports, when you have that kind of process and organisation, of course at the end, it gives you good results."

No Khabra, no problem

Ahead of Kerala's tie against Mumbai City on March 2, the league had sanctioned Harmanjot Khabra with a two-match ban and an INR 15 Lakhs fine. The seasoned campaigner will thus miss the game against FC Goa as well.

In response, the Blasters coach commented, "We have many players who can play in different positions. Sahal [Samad] can play on either flank, Nishu Kumar can play as a full-back and as a winger. There are many players who can perform in different positions. As a coach, that makes me happy. So, we organised the build-up of our team for this season, so that if we miss someone, then there will be somebody else who will replace the other."

It's in Kerala's hands

If Mumbai City fail to pick up a win against Hyderabad in their final league game of the season, Kerala Blasters will go through to the semi-finals irrespective of their result against Goa. Even if the Islanders win that game, the southern outfit will have an opportunity to finish third with a win over FC Goa on Sunday.

"I always prefer to talk about things that we can control and then we can master ourselves. You know, if you speak about tonight's game of our direct rivalry for the fourth spot, we cannot control those things. We have to be careful and organised for Sunday’s game. Every game we’ve played has been an important one," Vukomanovic remarked.

Further reading:

The rise of Sahal Samad

Play-off qualification scenarios explained

Race to the ISL League Winners Shield