Indian Super League (ISL) club Kerala Blasters sacked head coach Kibu Vicuna after the team suffered the heaviest defeat of the season as they were thrashed 4-0 by Hyderabad FC at the Tilak Maidan on Tuesday, Goal.com reported. With the loss, Kerala Blasters also got out of the race to the playoffs, joining Chennaiyin FC and Odisha FC in that list. Kerala Blasters’ defence was once again the culprit as Hyderabad FC put up a ruthless performance in the second half to crush them.
Kerala Blasters have had a season to forget. In 18 games, they have managed only 16 points and lie 10th on the 11-team table. They have won three games, drawn seven and have lost eight. The Blasters’ defence has been the worst in the season, shipping in 33 goals while their attackers have scored 22 goals. Only Kerala and Odisha FC have conceded more than 25 goals.
Vicuna was hired by Kerala Blasters ahead of the ongoing season after they parted ways with former coach Eelco Schattorie last season, also following poor results. Vicuna, last season, had won the I-League title with Mohun Bagan but they let him go after the club merged with ATK and became ATK Mohun Bagan, which is being coached by Antonio Habas and is top of the table.
In the post-match interview with the broadcasters, Vicuna evaded the question about his future at Kerala Blasters given the club’s tendency to sack coaches when things go down. He instead said, “For me, this season is very frustrating. We worked hard ahead of the season to get the best possible training. We had a very short pre-season. Then, we didn’t start the season well. Since then, we haven’t been able to be consistent.”
Vicuna once more rued the missed opportunities in the first half and the fact that his defence was again way more welcome. “I think the match was very even and we had good chances in the first half and we competed well. But then we again conceded goals. It’s been the story this season,” he said.
Vicuna explained that his attacking young players like Rahul KP, Sahal Abdul Samad and Puitea were not fit. Sahal and Puitea were not even in the matchday squad while Rahul came on late in the second half.
“He had an injury (Rahul KP). He trained only yesterday and couldn’t play 90 minutes. Unfortunately, we had injuries for good attacking players – Sahal, Puitea and Rahul. The team competed well and it was important today to score the first goal. Congratulations to Hyderabad for their last 30 minutes of the game,” he explained.
Vicuna said he was happy with how the players were doing in training but they haven’t been able to bring that to the field of play and that is where he believed the club needed to prepare well for the next season.
“After tonight, we have no chance to be in Top 4. We are going to do everything we can to prepare for the last two games. I am happy with how we have trained but during the whole season, the defence was not good enough. We are working in training but it hasn’t come to fruition. The club has to prepare for next season.