Kerala Blasters picked up their second away win of the Indian Super League (ISL) at the expense of Mumbai City FC. Iain Hume scored the winner in the 23rd minute which proved to be the difference between the two teams.
However, coach David James was concerned about his team as all three substitutions were forced due to his players picking up a knock. Mark Sifneos, Rino Anto and Milan Singh all had to be taken off against Mumbai City FC as Kerala have another two games in quick succession.
“Winning is a nice habit to get in. It was a tough game as expected. We have concerns with players going down. Two more games (against Jamshedpur FC and FC Goa) in quick succession and so we have to monitor the players now,” said James.
The former Liverpool FC goalkeeper mentioned that he was most pleased about his team keeping a clean-sheet in their away game. It must be noted that Kerala had leaked in five against FC Goa and one to Chennaiyin FC and Delhi Dynamos in their away matches.
“We won 1-0. How are we unlucky? We grafted hard. We took our options, we defended well. 1-0 is the best victory you can get because it's tight. Also a cleansheet is good. We got a cleansheet which is something which was lacking at Kerala. It was a tough performance. The defence was fantastic and everyone needs credit for it. I'm buzzing as a coach,” said the 47-year-old.
Dimitar Berbatov hasn’t yet recovered from the injury he picked up against Delhi and James didn’t give clarity as to when the former Manchester United striker would be available.
“No, his injury isn't serious. The situation with Berbatov is like with every player. The team is going to rotate and that's the nature of the league. Berbatov has played exactly how he has been asked to and when he hasn't been (around), someone else has stepped up and done the same. We have a group of players who are on the bench and are hungry to play,” said James.
Kerala Blasters travel to Jharkhand to face Jamshedpur FC on January 17th.