Vineeth’s presence is a big boost for Kerala Blasters, says coach Steve Coppell

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Vineeth’s presence is a big boost for Kerala Blasters, says coach Steve Coppell

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SportsCafe Desk


Heaping praise on CK Vineeth and Rino Anto, Kerala Blasters coach Steve Coppell has said that their presence is a big boost for other players. He has also said that the injury to Antonio German is a little bit aggravated now but is hopeful that the Englishman will be fit before the next game.

Kerala Blasters came from behind to defeat defending champions Chennaiyan FC 3-1 in the South Indian derby yesterday thanks to the brace from CK Vineeth, who recently joined the team after a historic campaign with Bengaluru FC in the AFC Cup

Speaking about the presence of Vineeth, chief coach Steve Coppell said, “Having the two players join us from Bengaluru FC has made a huge difference. CK Vineeth just being there physically has been a big psychological boost. They are both very good players. It's something you can't do in the ISL, go into the transfer market and sign players. They give us the liberty, and supplement what we already have. We have got a hungry squad wanting to get better, which makes a big difference,” reported ISL media.

Kerala turned the match around after a dismal showing in the first half where they were trailing by 0-1. In front of packed house at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in Kochi, The Sachin Tendulkar-owned franchise put up a brilliant show to win the game 3-1 with Vineeth scoring a brace. 

Praising the crowd and players, the Englishman said, “I thought we were very poor in the first half…Early on, I think we were fortunate as we didn't play well, they had opportunities. To be honest, they were better than us. I was desperate for half time to come, so I could have a quick chat with the boys to sort things out. Thankfully, that came soon… We have to thank the crowd because they created the atmosphere that was fabulous and that does make the difference. Maybe, in the first couple of games it might have been pressure for the players. But now it is more like an occasion that everybody enjoys. The players are more relaxed now. The momentum we gained with the goals and the crowd in the second half makes up for a very special night.”

Kervens Belfort suffered an injury during the game and had to be stretchered off the field. Speaking about the chances of playing Belfort in the coming matches, Coppell said, “Looking bad [Belfort's injury], you can probably say that. He has been our most significant striker. He offers something which is very difficult to stop. When he went off, Antonio started. He always wanted to play down the middle and tonight he had the opportunity. At this point, there is pressure to deliver. People are looking at him. We needed a focal point for our attack and he provided that. The first goal was massive for us…He created that goal because he was determined to set up Didier Boris Kadio. He can look back on his tonight's game and think it's a good job. He can say that he has been part of the team that has been successful. Belfort has a groin injury. He had a groin injury after the previous game and I think he has aggravated it a little. We have got about a week before we play again so I think he has an opportunity to rest and get some treatment to recover and make himself available for the next game,”

Kerala Blasters will next play Mumbai City FC at the Mumbai Football Arena on November 19.

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