Antonio Vicuna - Durand Cup is a very special tournament for Mohun Bagan

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Anselm Noronha/Goal
Kibu Vicuna believes his men have prepared well for the tournament opener against Mohammedan Sporting...

The 129th edition of the Durand Cup gets underway on Friday with Mohun Bagan and Mohammedan Sporting set to lock horns in the tournament opener.

It will be the first official match in charge for Mohun Bagan’s new coach Kibu Vicuna and the Spaniard is determined to win the competition.

“It is a very special tournament and Mohun Bagan have won 16 times. It is as important as the Calcutta Football League. We are ready to win tomorrow,” he said on the eve of the clash.

“We are training for a month. This is a new team so it will take time.

“In two months, we will be better than tomorrow. I am happy with the way we have trained and the practice matches that we have played.”

The Spaniard is hoping to usher in a new playing style for the Kolkata giants with a special emphasis on possession-based football.

“Possession is the most important thing in Spanish football. In Mohun Bagan we will play attacking football. We will try to create as many chances as possible. But in football sometimes things don't happen the way you want,” Vicuna said.

It will also be a Mohun Bagan debut for Vicuna’s compatriot Salvo Chamorro and the Spanish forward is looking forward to the Durand Cup.

“It is not easy to adapt to a new country and condition. But I have a good team, teammates and they have made it easy for me. I am prepared for the game and I am ready to give my best for the team,” Chamorro said.

“For me the most important is the team. The team must work well and perform. Individual performance comes second. Most important thing is the team's performance,” he added.

Meanwhile, Mohammedan Sporting team manager Bilal Khan is taking confidence from his team’s recent track record against Mohun Bagan.

“We had won the tournament in 2013. We are also a big team. Our track record against Mohun Bagan in the past few years is very good. Only last season Mohun Bagan had defeated us,” he said.

“We had defeated East Bengal last season with World Cup defender (Johnny Acosta). The best team will win tomorrow.”

Mohammedan skipper Kamran Farooq is also confident of his team’s chances for Friday’s clash.

“In 2017 we won 1-0 against Mohun Bagan. Last season we were leading by a goal and then lost 2-1. There are no small or big teams on the pitch. The team which gives their best on that day will win. We are not thinking if it's Mohun Bagan or East Bengal,” Farooq said.

“Just like we don't know their team, they also don't know us. This is the first time we will play. We have prepared well hopefully we will win,” he concluded.

 

 

 

 

 

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