BY NISANTH V EASWAR Follow @Niktheblue94 on Twitter
CK Vineeth is in awe of the quality of foreign players in the Kerala Blasters squad, with the striker deeming Dimitar Berbatov and Wes Brown to be on another level based on their skill on the ball.
"You feel that quality when you play alongside them [Dimitar Berbatov and Wes Brown]. Their touches, their thoughts on a football pitch, their movements, their passing, we can learn a lot from them. Berbatov, as you already know, is one or two levels above us," told the former Bengaluru FC forward exclusively to Goal.
"When we receive the ball, we take multiple touches to control it and look for the next pass. These guys do it in one or maximum two touches. Those are the things we need to bring to our game. They know where their target for the pass is going to be before the ball even reaches them. For us, we need to receive the ball first before looking up for the next pass. That difference in time is what is going to decide the tempo of the game. Those are the things we need to learn."
But it won't be easy for the Indian players to learn these traits. One man who can make the process a lot easier is their new head coach Rene Meulensteen.
"Rene Meulensteen is an attacking coach. But at the same time, he needs us to defend well too. The main point is to not concede goals. At the same time, we need to score goals as well. Clean-sheets are the one thing he has been telling us before the games. According to him, the defence is the first step towards attack."
Controversy arose when plenty of fans returned home without tickets after the galleries were sold out. This was because of a reduction in capacity of the Jawaharlal Nehru stadium in Kochi to 41000, out of which only 39000 seats were made available to the public. People who approached the ticket counter outside the stadium had to go home disillusioned.
"I feel for the fans [who missed out on tickets]. But we can't ask them not to make it an all-seater, right? We can't remove the seats as well. It's a helpless situation. It's not something in our hands, unfortunately," remarked Vineeth.
Vineeth is expected to lineup alongside Dimitar Berbatov and Iain Hume in the Kerala Blasters attack against ATK in the opening game which is scheduled to kick off at 8 PM on Friday.