Kerala Blasters kept their hopes of a place in the play-offs alive as they got the better of NorthEast United on Saturday evening at Guwahati. The Kochi-based outfit saw Wes Brown clinch the winning goal in the 28th minute as the former Manchester United defender headed the ball home from a Jackichand Singh corner-kick.
On being asked if the visitors were lucky to win by a narrow margin, head coach David James answered, ‘’We don’t consider ourselves to be lucky because we scored a very good goal from set play, our first goal from a defender.’’
However, the former Liverpool FC custodian stated that his side could have done better. ‘’It wasn’t our best performance, we have played (earlier) better and lost. But it is only the result that counts,’’ he added.
The head coach introduced Dimitar Berbatov in the 69th minute, which he admitted made the difference in the match. Applauding the Bulgarian, James commented, ‘’Berbs (Dimitar Berbatov) had a large role to play as he came on and controlled the game and then things became end-to-end.’’
The 47-year-old manager mentioned that the South Indian outfit are aiming to improve their goal difference and expressed his delight over the three points saying, "I love clean-sheets as a former goalkeeper but more importantly, I love one-nil victories more because everyone is on their edge of the seats until the last minute."
The Englishman praised their opponents for their fighting spiriting despite being ruled out of the top four race. "What was nice was that NorthEast United gave everything. In world football, we often see teams give up in their position and look for the exit but NorthEast United gave everything and we had to work hard," he signed off.