ISL 2020-21: Kerala Blasters targeting the top four, says Kibu Vicuna

ISL 2020: “We have worked very hard to cumulate a good team for the season, which has the requisite balance between experienced players and quality young players,” says Kerala Blasters head coach Kibu Vicuna.

Kibu Vicuna

Kibu Vicuna will have a point to prove with Kerala Blasters when he comes up against ATKMB in the ISL 2020-21 season-opener on November 20.   -  Twitter @KeralaBlasters

He is new to the club, as are almost all his foreign players. Head coach Kibu Vicuna certainly has a tough task ahead with Kerala Blasters. But the 48-year-old Spaniard is up to the challenge and is targeting a top-four finish in the Indian Super League (ISL 2020-21) season.

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Excerpts from an interview:

How do you think the season will be? What are the expectations? What is the target?

This season is going to be very challenging. We do have a competent team, exceptional coaching staff and quality support staff.

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I expect the team to play good football and be a competitive squad. We are working towards reaching the top four and a chance to be a part of the playoffs.

Do you think you have the team to get into the top four?

We have worked very hard to cumulate a good team for the season, which has the requisite balance between experienced players and quality young players. Now we are in process to bring out the best in our squad. When we play good football, we will surely be closer to good results.

Gary Hooper and Sahal Abdul Samad

Kerala Blasters will bank on the likes of Gary Hooper and Sahal Abdul Samad as the club looks to end its barren run in the Indian Super League (ISL 2020-21).   -  Twitter @KeralaBlasters

 

Do you think the time to prepare the team was enough?

The time was definitely not enough... Two of our players are still under quarantine (with one week to go for the season).

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It is an exception this time, but we are not finding excuses as all the other teams will be facing similar difficulties, too.

Since the teams may not have had enough time to prepare, do you think it will take time for the teams to settle down in the ISL? That there could be a lot of surprises?

It is going to be very tough for all teams as there is heavy competition.

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I feel the teams with the same staff and players will have a slight advantage because they have been together before, whereas teams who have new players and coaching staff will face some difficulty as in football you need time to prepare and settle.

Kibu Vicuna

Kibu Vicuna joined Kerala Blasters after leading Mohun Bagan to the I-League title last season.   -  Twitter @KeralaBlasters

 

What sort of football can we expect? What about formations?

Formation is not the most important factor; it is the style that is important. We will try to be a defensive and proactive team.

The Blasters are known for their passionate fans. Will playing in an empty stadium put less pressure on the team or will it be tough to inspire your players without fans?

We are certainly handicapped without our supporters because they are a very important part of the club. However, we hope that they continue supporting us throughout the season from wherever they are.

Kerala Blasters fans at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in Kochi.   -  H. Vibhu

 

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