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ISL: Kibu Vicuna reveals his favourite Kerala Blasters player

  • New Kerala Blasters boss Kibu Vucina handpicks Sahal Abdul Samad as his favourite Kerala Blasters player.
  • Vicuna also spoke about the squad and its strengthening for the next season.
Modified 15 May 2020, 20:13 IST

Kibu Vicuna
Kibu Vicuna

Kerala Blasters' new manager Kibu Vicuna has handpicked his favourite Indian Super League (ISL) and Kerala Blasters player. It happens to be Manjapadda's 'one of their own' Sahal Abdul Samad.

The youngster hardly started for Kerala Blasters under Eelco Schattorie last campaign. Despite early struggles, Vicuna is blown away by the quality of Samad and considers him as one of the best Indian players at present.

“My favourite player in the ISL right now is Sahal. Sahal’s quality surprised me. He is a fantastic player and is one of the best Indian stars right now. I also like Prabir Das, the right-back of ATK,” Kibu Vicuna told commentator Anant Tyagi in 'Let's football live' Instagram session.

Despite finishing ten points shy off the playoff spot in the previous season, Vicuna believes that Kerala Blasters have the perfect balance of young and experienced set of players in the current squad.

"Speaking about the team as such, right now they do have a good mix of both young players as well as experienced stars. The likes of Nongdamba Naorem, Jeakson Singh, Sahal (Abdul Samad) and Rahul KP bring youth to the side, while Ogbeche and Co. bring experience.” he added.

Kerala Blasters' defensive vulnerability under their former boss was often exploited by opponents as the team shipped 32 goals in the league stage alone. Their main centre-back, Sandesh Jhingan, was forced to miss the whole season after suffering a knee injury in the pre-season.

How does Vicuna aim to improve the Kerala Blasters?

Kerala Blasters
Kerala Blasters

Vicuna has already detected the tactical goof from the 2019/20 season and is confident about the remedy with his new club. He said:

“I also watched all of Kerala Blasters’ matches from last season. I’ve seen that their attack and defence lacked balance at times. I think that I can change that. We need a good attacking team, but also have to prepare for defence.”
“I also like playing from the back, pressing forward when we lose possession – but that also changes depending on the kind of players that I have to work with. Ideally, I like to have possession, play more in the opponents’ half and create more scoring opportunities. I did it at Mohun Bagan – if you check, you will see that we had fewer shots on target than our opponents in only one game – and I intend to do the same at Blasters,” he added when questioned about the style of play.

Kerala Blasters have been active in the transfer market. Left-back Nishu Kumar's move to the Kochi-based side is all but official, while Ritwik Das and Puitea are also believed to be following the path of Bengaluru FC defender to Kerala. Additionally, Kibu Vicuna is also actively looking for a striker to partner Bartholomew Ogbeche in the forward line.

Published 15 May 2020, 20:13 IST
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