Kibu Vicuna: Kerala Blasters have to improve in every aspect

Kibu Vicuna, Kerala Blasters vs HyderabadISL

Kerala Blasters haven’t had the best of seasons so far in the seventh edition of the Indian Super League (ISL). In their eight matches, they have only a single win and have suffered as many as four defeats.

Kibu Vicuna’s team are up against bottom placed Odisha FC on Thursday evening and the Spaniard believes that despite the latter’s position on the ISL table, they cannot be taken lightly. It must be noted that there is only a four-point gap between the two teams.

“Every game is a new challenge. Odisha are no different from others. While we are looking for the three points against Odisha, it needs to be said that they have been performing well. They played well against East Bengal too.

“We need to control the game and make the most of our chances. But we need to be defensively better as well. Football is a balance between attack, defence and transition. We have to improve in every aspect,” he mentioned.

Kerala haven’t scored a single goal in four games however, Vicuna pointed that his players have been creating several goalscoring opportunities.

“We are working in training to improve our finishing. The good thing is that we created chances but the bad thing is that we didn't convert them in the previous match. We are trying to improve in this aspect. 

Vicuna was questioned if Kerala would choose to sign players in the January transfer market in order to strengthen their squad.

“We are not looking for anything or anyone in particular. I am happy with the team we have. Juande has arrived and so has Subha (Ghosh). We are not looking for anyone right now, but anything can happen so so let's see what happens,” was Vicuna’s ambivalent response.

Vicuna also mentioned that new signing Juande will be available for selection for their game against East Bengal after completing his quarantine. He refused to give away much on the status of striker Gary Hooper.

Gary Hooper Kerala BlastersISL

"Gary Hooper is training with the team and we have to see whether he will be available,” said Vicuna.

He also shared his thoughts on the upcoming edition of the I-League – which won’t feature Mohun Bagan and East Bengal for the very first time since its inception. Last season Mohun Bagan won the league title with Vicuna being at the helm of affairs. Since then, Mohun Bagan have 

“It is going to be interesting without East Bengal and Mohun Bagan. It is going to be more open. Mohammedan (Sporting) is going to be a tough team to beat playing from Kolkata. (Gokulam) Kerala and Churchill (Brothers) are very good teams.

“Punjab is a good team with Joseba (Beitia). There will be more opportunities for Indians as there will be fewer foreigners. We will follow the I-League and there are many players from I-League who are doing well in ISL,” observed Vicuna.

Kerala Blasters are in action on Thursday and once again would play another match on Sunday. Vicuna said that while the schedule is tough on players in terms of recovery, it is the same issue every team has to contend with in this pandemic-affected campaign.

"We cannot do anything about the schedule. In December we played just four matches and in January, we play eight. It is going to be hard in terms of recovery. It is difficult to recover in one-two days time. Some players need even three days to feel better. the only thing we can do is to focus on the next match. But we know three days later we have another match. All teams have a similar schedule," he noted.