Kerala Blasters striker and new foreign recruit Slavisa Stojanovic has called for Indian footballers to work on the technical side of their game in order to bridge the gap in footballing ability when compared to European footballers.
"Running is good but they must learn the technical skills. You cannot learn it in a week. You can work on that. Every day you must work on technique," said Stojanovic while speaking to Goal. However, one Indian player who has impressed the new signing is Kerala-born Prasanth Karuthadathkuni.
"Prasanth is the best young player at Kerala Blasters. He was really good against Melbourne. His dribbling, his crosses were all good."
The 29-year-old Serbian forward joined Kerala Blasters from Serbian Super Liga side Radnicki Nis where he scored 10 goals in 23 first-team starts in the league. Stojanovic was paired up with Slovenian striker and fellow new recruit Matej Poplatnik against Melbourne City and Girona FC in the La Liga tournament. Although the partnership fired blanks, there were positives to take away for coach David James.
The Smederevo-born attacker has full faith in the English coach of Kerala Blasters, a legendary figure whom he has admired since his childhood.
"Everyone knows who David James is. I have watched him play since I was 10 years old. And now at Blasters, he is my coach. He is a very good coach. I can learn from David James and Hermann Hreiðarsson at Kerala Blasters.
"They have played in the Premier League, one of the top five leagues in the world. He has played around 300 games in that league. I can learn new stuff from David James," said Stojanovic.
And as is the case with new recruits who land in Kochi for the first time, Stojanovic is also enamoured by the support he has received from Manjappada.
"Around 200 fans came to the airport to receive us. And whenever I go out, I see crazy fans. I can't wait to go out and play football for them."
After the departure of Iain Hume and Dimitar Berbatov, Kerala Blasters will be looking for Slavia Stojanovic to team up with Matej Poplatnik and fire on all cylinders.