“They Were Very Disciplined”


Van Veldhoven Defends Kerala Blasters

Delhi Dynamos FC slumped to their second consecutive home defeat at they went down 0-1 to Kerala Blasters FC at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium, Delhi. Penn Orji scored the only goal of the match as Harm Van Veldhoven’s team remain at the bottom of the table with seven points in their nine games so far in the Hero Indian Super League (ISL).


The Dynamos’ head coach believed his side put up a brave performance but were unlucky to walk away without a single point. “In the first 60 minutes, we were absolutely the best team. We played the first half really well. We had a few good chances for sure. We were pressing really well and we had good organisation. We were unlucky to lose the ball after the 60th minute and they scored a goal and after that we had to force a situation,” Van Veldhoven said at the post-match press conference.


The Belgian-Dutch coach, however, took nothing away from the away side’s gritty performance. “We had to give more and more because their players were very disciplined and worked very hard in that way. In the first half, we tried really hard to give the ball at the striker’s feet but Kerala kept regrouping,” he commented.


The manager was clearly let down by the result. “Very disappointing, of course; we deserved more, but we got nothing. Of course, we have to react again and we have a lot of games to go. We all know that we missed a chance to come a little bit closer to the top half of the table and we’ll try to get the rest of the points so what we can do, we’re going to do. The players worked hard today and I’m proud of them but of course we have to take our moments in the game,” said Van Veldhoven as he rued the missed opportunities.


Marquee man and captain Alessandro Del Piero, who was also present at the media interaction, too lauded his team’s persistence until the end. “The team fought till the end. We need to work hard. There is nothing that we can do at this moment except prepare for the next game,” he said.


The ex-Juventus striker and legend spoke about his team’s consecutive losses. “Losing is always hard. You put in a lot of time and effort and you get nothing back, and that’s always hard. We have to stick together and we have players with experience. Shylo (Malswamtluanga) is a good player and he runs a lot,” said Del Piero as he commended his teammate’s stamina. “We’re disappointed, of course, but we’re going to try and sleep this evening and wake up tomorrow morning for breakfast and work hard on the training field,” the former World Cup winner said.


Van Veldhoven was also asked about his preparations for the next few matches following their loss to Kerala Blasters. “We go to NorthEast first. The most important thing is to bring our own performances to the game. Don’t be afraid to make mistakes and stand up on the training field. It’s not important whom we are playing. The teams are at the same levels. We have to fight in every game and we will win every game if we played like we did today,” voiced the coach.


Delhi Dynamos now have a week’s break before their next match when they take on NorthEast United FC in the latter’s backyard on November 24.


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