On the team, opposition, the fans and playoff chances…
James stressed that the team’s objective is to win the rest of the games but he expects a strong fight from Chennaiyin FC. He added that scoring goals and winning the game are a bigger priority for the team at the moment than keeping a clean sheet.
“We have got a talented squad to allow Kerala to be in a position to be in the race for the playoffs. The objective is pretty much the same after two defeats. We needed to win six games. The draw against ATK was a tough one. It wasn't in the plan. It is a massive game in local rivalry terms. The objective doesn't change, we have to win the game of football”
The gaffer added that he would rely on his team’s confidence rather than faith.
"When I came here most of the players didn't know me, and my experience in coaching field was also questioned. but the talented people around the team have helped me in doing my work. From the day one, Kerala Blasters wasn't just about the players. It was about everybody involved,” he added.
James believes that Kerala Blasters have the best fans in the league but that may not always work in the team’s favour.
“The support that we get home and away is very valuable. I don't think it is pressure. One of the inherent problems with having the best fans in the country is that other teams enjoy playing here as well. It is not always a 100 percent in our favour as well. Tomorrow is the last home game in the league stage. It is an opportunity to utilise the home support,” he explained.
On Dimitar Berbatov
James was full of praise for Dimitar Berbatov who scored his first ISL goal against ATK. Berbatov didn’t start the following game against NorthEast United but came off the bench and made an immediate impact.
"The value he brings on the field when he is playing is more important than his position."
He added that Berbatov, who possesses a coaching license, has been instrumental in helping the youngsters improve their game.
James also added that maybe Dimitar Berbatov will play up front against Chennaiyin FC.
On continuing as Kerala Blasters coach next season
"I took the job very quickly as I was excited to take the job and will be interested to come back next year. I am very excited to be a part of the transfer dealing for the next season but have not decided if I will continue next year."
On the inaugural Super Cup
James said that this isn’t the optimal time for him to comment on the Super Cup as his team has an important game coming up but he welcomed the move.
"I think the Super Cup is great. Bengaluru FC came from I-League and they are top now. But they have made changes as well. It is an opportunity.”
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