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I-League: Kibu Vicuna - Mohun Bagan are building a solid team

9:47 AM IST 15/07/19
Kibu Vicuna Mohun Bagan
The Spanish gaffer of the Kolkatan outfit is looking forward to the Calcutta Football League (CFL) and Durand Cup to prepare for the I-League

Mohun Bagan coach Kibu Vicuna has expressed his satisfaction with his side's performance in the pre-season friendlies in Goa.

Currently undergoing part of their pre-season camp in the coastal state, the Mariners have played two friendlies in which they defeated Salgaocar FC 4-2 on Saturday before downing Sesa FA 2-0 on Sunday.

"I'm happy with the performance of the team in both the games," the 47-year-old told Goal. "I think we played better with the ball (against Salgaocar). I think we had many chances in the two games.

"I think we played better in the second half (against Sesa) not only because we scored the goal. Subu (Surabuddin Mallick) had three good chances. We committed too many mistakes in the midfield line in the first half. The second half was better. We controlled the game. We created chances from set-pieces and also the opponent team had only chance in the whole match," he added.

Among the four Spanish recruits for the upcoming season, Fran Morante and Salva Chamorro are with the team in Goa. Regarding the squad depth, Vicuna is of the opinion that Bagan will eventually have a strong team.

"Fran Gonzalez and Joseba Beitia are coming. We also have good players in Shilton D'Silva, Imran Khan and some other players who can play in the midfield line. There are also two to three good players who are on trials. It's not a question of midfield but the style of the game. It's going to take us time because it's a new team - not only the foreigners, (Indian players like) Ashutosh Mehta, Romario (Jesuraj), Nongdamba (Naorem), Dhanachandra (Singh). So it's going to take time to make a solid team together," he claimed.

With the Calcutta Football League (CFL) and Durand Cup 2019 to run concurrently in August, the former Osasuna assistant feels that the two competitions will help Mohun Bagan in preparing for the upcoming I-League season 2019-20.

"We have two competitions to prepare us (for the I-League). We are going to prepare to get the best results in both the competitions - the Calcutta (Football) League and the Durand Cup. The rules are different. Only three foreign players can play in these competitions and in the I-League five (foreign) players. We will see. Day by day, week by week, the team is improving. So we will see how we can manage," Vicuna concluded.

Mohun Bagan are set to play another friendly against Goa Pro League side Calangute Association at the Bambolim stadium on July 18th before returning to Kolkata. The Maroon and Greens are set to face Mohammedan Sporting in the opener of the Durand Cup 2019 on August 2nd.