The Spaniard mentioned that his team will be in much better shape next month than on the first day of the season…
Kerala Blasters are all set to face ATK Mohun Bagan on the opening day of the seventh edition of the Indian Super League (ISL) on Friday in Goa. Due to the ongoing Coronavirus pandemic, the season will be conducted in Goa with every team being part of a bio-bubble.
Coach Kibu Vicuna acknowledged that while the pre-season preparations have been far from ideal, but the fact that the league will see light of the day is certainly a big positive.
“It is true that pre-season is short. In a new team, you like to train more. You have players who ended quarantine three days ago. Every team has its own problems. No complaints and excuses. We are happy to start the league.
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“The foreign players came later due to visa issues and they need more time. The whole team needs more time, not only physically but also tactically. We are going to be better next month than today, I am sure about that,” said Vicuna.
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The Spanish coach won the I-League title with Mohun Bagan last season with the Green and Maroon playing an exciting brand of football. With Mohun Bagan and ATK merging to form a new entity in ATK Mohun Bagan, Vicuna moved to new pastures as his contract wasn’t renewed. This was because Antonio Habas, the coach of the erstwhile ATK, was appointed head coach of ATK Mohun Bagan.
“I have good sentiments for Bagan, they treated me very well. I have a lot of friends there. But I am happy to be at Blasters, I am going to do my best, the people have received me very well,” he shared his thoughts on facing his former team on the first day of the campaign.
“We are starting the season, trying to create a good team and will try to play good football. It is a different league. It was a tough league last season. The level of players coaches and clubs are very even, every game is going to be tough. I have confidence in the way we are training.”
Vicuna is spoilt for choices this season when it comes to the Indian contingent especially in midfield. The former Mohun Bagan coach mentioned that the players who will make most of the chances afforded to them will be given more opportunities rather than just choosing a team based on the past reputation.
“I am not used to looking at the players’ past. If they take advantages of the chances they have, they are going to play. We have good young players and players with experience. We are trying to create a balance. For me, age is not the most important. We have players with potential, as all players, they must improve daily.”
Kerala Blasters have four goalkeepers, namely Bilal Khan, Albino Gomes, Muheet Shabbir and Prabhsukhan Gill and Vicuna is pleased with how each of the four are undergoing their training in the pre-season.
“We have four number ones, we have four goalkeepers. We are happy with the way they are training with the goalkeeper coach. They performed in the friendlies. We have to choose one for tomorrow’s game, that’s all. We are focusing on the first game,” signed off Vicuna.