Kerala Blaster FC and Mumbai City FC settled for a 0-0 draw in a Hero Indian Super League (ISL) encounter at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium, Kochi on Wednesday.
Both sides had their opportunities to win the game, but poor finishing didn’t allow any of the teams claim three points.
“To be honest, I am a bit disappointed that we didn’t win the game,” Kerala Blasters FC assistant coach Trevor Morgan expressed his disappointment during the post-match press conference. “But everybody is satisfied with the performance, however, we are disappointed because these are two games where we felt that we created enough opportunities to win and be four points better off than we are now.”
Talking about Mumbai City FC, Reid said, “They defended very deep, got men behind the ball, and when you have someone like Nicolas Anelka in the front, you more than likely are to be hit on the counter-attack. We had to try and break them down, and in the first half we played really well and in the second half we got a bit anxious. The longer the game went on, the more anxious we got and that is difficult, because when you get anxious you tend to do the wrong things.”
“It’s been three home games in a week and we have only scored one goal. I know we have managed to keep three clean sheets, which is a wonderful achievement.”
“There is no secret recipe to make this work besides keep working, keep creating opportunities, create that bit of luck and hopefully score,” he added.
Mumbai City FC head coach Peter Reid felt that the result reflects the game well. “I think it is fair to say that the scoreline was a fair reflection of the game. For the positives, I am happy that we kept a clean sheet, and that sides are finding it hard to break us down, whereas for the negatives we need to get that quality in the final third and score a few goals.”
“I thought we started slowly, and I knew we had to start quickly. But the atmosphere that the crowd created was fantastic out there. All credit to Kerala Blasters,” the Englishman told.
“We had a chat at half-time to try and keep it (form and passing) better. It’s fair to say that in the second half, we created a couple of chances, a couple of opportunities to get in behind (their defence) but we didn’t pick out quality goals. David James also had a good save to make, we hit the post and in the dying minutes we had a fantastic chance, which nine times out of ten would have gone in.”
Asked about Nicolas Anelka playing a different role, Reid said, “Well, sometimes when he has been going forward he has been man-to-man marked, so what do we do? We bring him back to give him space and take on the creative role anywhere on the pitch and that to me is the best way to play him.”
“We can make excuses that we have injuries in the form of (André) Moritz, (Freddie) Ljungberg, (Syed Rahim) Nabi, and those are three players that have that quality in the attacking sense, so we are just missing that at the moment. We have kept four clean sheets in a row and a total of five, so we have done well defensively but now we have to find a solution for our attacking part.”