Kibu Vicuña – Tomorrow’s game is going to be a tough challenge for us


Kerala Blasters FC are set to take on NorthEast United FC on the 26th of November at their home. Coach Kibu and midfielder Puitea expressed their thoughts on various subjects and on the game that is to happen tomorrow.

Kibu, on NorthEast United and the way the played against Mumbai City FC and how the attacking third of Kerala Blasters FC lacked a spark, said,

“They played very well against Mumbai City FC. They were well organized. They dropped back, created a few chances and they had really fast counter attacks. And they will surely be a strong team and a very tough challenge for us tomorrow. It is uncertain as to with which formation will they play against us tomorrow. We are ready to compete, we are ready to try to get the 3 points. We have our plan to face the game. In our last game, we controlled the match as we had more possession but they scored a goal, we were unlucky and a good finish by Krishna. It’s true that we have to improve in the final third, but the final third is the most difficult part of the pitch and the physical strength of the players also matter, you may be outnumbered. But tomorrow the match for NorthEast is with a different team with a different style than that of Mumbai City.”

On the loss against ATK-MB FC, Kibu said,

“In football, you have to be prepared for all sorts of results and not just what your environment is setting up for you. We believe in the way are training and playing, and even in the way we are living. In the hotel, we are in the process of creating a family within the team and now we just have to focus on the next game, our mentality is unchanged.”

Gerard Nus expressed a very high regard for Kerala Blasters FC after the match against Mumbai City FC. On that note, Kibu said,

“It’s 11v11, it’s about tactics and individual performances more than about the budget. That’s my opinion.”

On the note of Rahul and Nishu’s injury and as to when might they get back on the pitch, Kibu said,

“They will be back when they are 100 per cent fit. They are very important players for us and we are very happy they we have them both in our team. Nishu is training with the team, he is much better than the last week. Now the only thing is that, once they are 100 per cent fit, they will get out on the pitch to help their team win.”

On the factor how Sahal seemed underperformed in the public’s eye, Kibu said,

“Sahal is an important player for us. We have to try and create a good environment for him. In the last match he had two close chances which he couldn’t convert but his presence was definitely important in the pitch. It’s only the first game. So, we are happy with him and he will be a very important player for us.”

Blasters have been engaging themselves on a lot of friendlies apart from the official ISL games. On the note of this friendlies initiative, Kibu said,

“I think it is very important. When we knew that we were going to be here in Goa, the first thing I told the Sporting Director is that we need to play friendly games. I told him that after the official game, we would like to play against the same team on the next day, doesn’t matter in whose training ground. Because, we have 31 players and in the official game only a maximum of 16 can participate and it is important for the development of the players and the development of the team and it will help us improve tactically and individually.”

Kibu, on how the league has progressed so far and, again, on how prepared are they against NorthEast, said,

“We have seen ten teams play already now. The results are almost even. It is going to be tough as we proceed on as we’ll have to take on 10 different styles and 10 different sets of players. All the teams have good players but we should only focus on the game that’s upcoming, and our objective is to try to get the points tomorrow.

“We have analysed how NorthEast has played, not only their official match but also in their friendlies. So, according to our analysis, we have made plans in the best way possible to take on NorthEast United FC.”

Puitea, on his experience with the team, said,

“I’m really happy and glad to have played for Blasters, first of all. With all the foreigners in the team, it is good for us. We’ll get to improve a lot. But again, it is not just the foreigners but even the Indian seniors in the team are equally helpful and support us throughout. And I hope every Indian player in the ISL get to improve year after year. And when my time comes or as I get time to play, I will do my best.”