No. I think we should have won the game, but to ATK's credit, like Ashley said, they were mathematically still within a chance of getting into the playoffs and I didn't expect an easy game at all.
Frustrating thing is to lead twice and give away the lead twice. Created a lot of chances but we didn't win the game. We created a lot more chances than they did and unfortunately, the good play that we did was not enough to win the game. I think overall I'm happy with my team because yet again they have done a full shift right until the end. But unfortunately, that wasn't just quite enough today.
You've coached Kerala Blasters before, do you think the ISL is the same in Season 1 and Season 4?
No. Listen, year one and year four are completely different in so many different ways. If you look at our squad, I think, Humey, Sandesh and Sandip Nandy, those three guys were there before and I'm buzzing after the improvement in quality we've got and the improvement in the quality of the league as well. So much that it's frustrating when you see that quality playing well and you still don't get three points. It was some fantastic play today.
Players who I knew had quality but I have seen them flourish. Sahal came on a little bit like Deep the other week. One of our young players came in and took to it like a duck to water. The quality is there, the team spirit is there. So KBFC is one good club at the moment. The frustration is that we were left with a very difficult task after the defeat to Goa essentially needing six wins. Mathematically we can still do it and we'll go for three wins in the last three games.
It's not just about now, of course, we want to get to the playoffs, but it's not just about now, there will be players who want to stay at the club or players wanting to come in or move. So they'll want to show their worth. What I've been seeing from my team every week, I have to say, is 100% effort. It's a lot more enjoyable in one sense perhaps than in year one but we all knew year one was a testing time.
What areas of the team would you like to address before the next three games?
I tell my players they're gonna do things that are not quite right, that's football. Just watching the Premier League the other day and there were three mistakes from one of the top teams and they lost 3-1. These things are gonna happen as long as they are trying to do the right thing. Until I've actually seen the match back on video because when you're on the match it's very difficult to take on board everything that happens.
You can see effort, you can see people trying to do the right thing. Yesterday in the press conference that Berba's gonna get a chance, he got a chance, he took it and he scored. Would have been romantic, slightly had it been a winner. But ATK knew their task as well, they had to win the game to give themselves any chance and it's a little bit frustrating when it is from a set piece.
James was asked about the injury to Iain Hume to which he responded by calling the Canadian a warrior who has overcome numerous injuries in his career. Once he recovers from the injury he'll train with the Kerala Blasters team and be a part of the team in the next season.
- Jan 01, 2018
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