Kerala Blasters are languising at the third-last spot in the Indian Super League (ISL) 2020-21 table and they are set to go up against the bottom-placed SC East Bengal at the GMC Stadium in Bambolim, Goa on Sunday. Both Blasters and East Bengal are yet to register a win in this ISL season and they will be desperate to get it at the cost of the other. The Blasters have just two points from five games and would be looking to go up from here.
The Blasters have had a major problem with both defending and scoring. They have scored five goals and conceded 10. They have created the least chances in the league (31) and have had the lowest shots in the league (39). However, coach Vicuna is not dissatisfied with the work his players have put in during training.
“I’m very happy with the attitude and performance of the players. The attitude of both Indian and foreign players to keep improving and be better than other players is very positive. I’ve no complaint about them because they want to be better every day professionally,” Vicuna said in an e-mail interaction with News18.com.
He did stress on the importance of making improvements in all aspects of the game. “We have to improve in all aspects of the game, we have to be more solid in the defensive game and not let go of chances along with improving the team’s attacking game to create more chances.”
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Vicuna had won the I-League 2019-20 with Mohun Bagan and put on display some beautiful football. In that title-winning team, Joseba Beitia played a crucial role in setting up play and making those defence-splitting pass. Here at Kerala Blasters, he has Sahal Abdul Samad and Puitea in that position. Sahal is yet to show any real quality with his season even interrupted with an injury while Puitea has hardly got game time.
However, the coach said that he has “a lot of talented players” to fill in that role (of Beitia) and “help us to have more possibilities and to be a stronger team.”
Vicuna lamented the short pre-season but said, it was a unique season, an “exceptional” situation and the team just has to keep working. “Pre-season was indeed short; after 7-8 months without playing, we would’ve liked to have more time to prepare the team and work on tactics with the new team. But the situation is exceptional and different compared to previous seasons so we have to continue working harder and better and continue to try to get good results.”