Kerala Blasters have had the worst start in the Indian Super League (ISL). Never before in the previous six seasons have the club remained winless after the opening five matches.
The Tuskers only have two points to show for their efforts and have leaked in 10 goals, which is the joint worst in the league alongside fellow strugglers East Bengal whom they face on Sunday evening.
Coach Kibu Vicuna was questioned whether he is under pressure to deliver results in the short term, the Spaniard however, remained calm and maintained that they are doing everything possible to turn their season around.
“I feel that they (club management) believes in the project, they know the situation. I see every day how other teams are playing but I focus on my team. we have the confidence in my team and we are putting out the best line-up to win,” said the former Mohun Bagan coach.
Kerala Blasters still have another 15 matches to go in the league season where they can accumulate a maximum of 45 points in addition to the two they have currently.
“We are focused on the next game. For me, it is not intelligent to think about the 45 points that we can play for,” said Vicuna.
He was also asked whether his team specifically trained on how to counterattack, as witnessed in the first goal scored against Bengaluru FC in their previous game.
“We train everything. Sometimes we have good results, sometimes we don't. Something doesn't happen because another team is playing and they also have a plan.”
Vicuna stated that his team have the belief in their abilities and that it’s a matter of time before the results begin to show. He also mentioned that they wouldn’t shy away from playing long ball football, if that’s the need of the hour.
“In football when you don't have good results, you lose confidence. The best way is to get a good result. We have to keep the fighting spirit to change the situation and hopefully, the results will come.
“We have a plan A, B and C. According to the match, we change that. If we have to play long, we will. It depends on the possibilities.”
Vicuna also shared an update on the fitness of Sahal Abdul Samad and also hailed the performances of goalkeeper Albino Gomes, who has been shaky this season.
“Most of the players ready for the match. Sahal is a very good player and an important player for us. He is going to be very good. He had been having some physical problems but he will be helping us in the next games.
“Albino is a fantastic keeper. In football you make mistakes. He made fantastic saves against Chennaiyin. In the last game, he did not have any special responsibility for the goals. I have confidence in all my keepers.”
East Bengal too are searching for their first win this season and have injuries issues to contend with. Vicuna acknowledged that the Red and Gold side have a decent group of foreign players.
“Every match is a new challenge. We are in a similar situation. Both teams want to get three points. We are training well and trying to prepare the match in the very best possible way. Hopefully, we can play a good match tomorrow.
“We played against East Bengal in the pre-season. I watched their first five games. They are playing three central defenders. When the results are not good you try to change. They are experimenting. They have good foreign players. We hope to see a good match tomorrow.”
Vicuna agreed that Kerala have to concede fewer goals and that they have to defend better as a team. He also spoke on the performance of Prasanth, who was used as a right-back in the previous game.
“Prashant is a good player. He is a very good player. He is adapting to a new position. He is giving us the opportunity to play as a winger and full back. He is training well and important player for us.
“We have to try to improve our defence. We have to try to concede fewer goals. We have to defend better and try and score more goals,” signed off the Spanish coach.