One of the biggest clashes of the season is just around the corner as Kerala Blasters FC will face the runnerups of the last season – Chennaiyin FC in an away encounter.
In the prelude to the Southern Derby, Kerala Blasters FC are yet to open up their winning ways with only 1 point into their tally having played two games and on the other hand Chennaiyin FC are marching high on spirit as they won their season opener courtesy of a pretty dominant performance against Jamshedpur FC.
If we take a lookback, the Kerala side showed very strong signs in the first half of their last game against Northeast. They secured an healthy lead of 2 goals in the first 45 minutes but only to end the bout with a stalemate as their opponents retaliated and equalized.
In retrospection to the same Coach Kibu Vicuna said, “In both the games we had more of the possession than the opponents. In the last game we saw two completely different halves. In the first half we had the control but in the latter we lost more balls. So overall we’ve to improve in every aspect of the game.” He also added that he had plenty of options and he’ll definitely try different permutations and combinations in accordance to the upcoming game. The players will definitely keep their heads up as the coach looks forward to improvise and adapt as they get along into the season.
The pandemic ridden times forced everyone into the bio bubble and the constraints gave away very little of the preseason for all the teams. Coach Vicuna looked very optimistic as he was quoted saying, “Its true that the preseason was different this time. This time around we didn’t had time to play more friendlies, to know the players, to train more but likewise each team had the same problems. Now we’re trying to take advantage of each training to get better and to have more connection within the team ans we’re in this process of being better organized as a unit.”
We have seen significant absentees in Sahal Abdul Samad and Rahul KP as they were sidelined because of injuries. “They’re very close to be included in the 20 player list but their participation will be highly depended on the training session,” Vicuna quipped.
We can witness a sort of imbalance in the schedule and to exemplify the added pressure Coach Kibu said, “The schedule is tough, tomorrow (29th November) we play our 3rd game of the season while some teams have just played 1 game. We had 3 games in 9 days but in December we’ve only 4 games for the whole month. That’s how the organizers have scheduled and we need to cope up with it.”
The very talented midfielder, Rohit Kumar joined Coach Vicuna for the Press conference. Rohit had a solid start, making his debut for the Kerala Blasters, when asked about his transfer from Hyderabad FC he said, “As a player I like to take new opportunities and new challenges, and Kerala Blasters FC provided me both so it took me no second thought to join the team.
KBFC fans are one of the best, the fan presence helps you a lot at times. But being professional footballers we need to adapt to the situation as we need to stick to the bio bubble restrictions,” Rohit added. The midfielder affirmed that he always keeps his team ahead of everything and his goal for the season will be to improve and get better with every passing game.
On a closing note Coach Vicuna and co. are raring to take on their southern counterparts and the coach acknowledged that it’d be a challenging game. In his words, ” They (Chennaiyin FC) have a very creative midfield having some of the best players of the league including the likes of Crivellaro, Sylvestr, Isma and Chhangte. So I think they’ve retained most of the players that were pretty important in their successful outing last season. Overall they are a good team. It’s a very important game and we will play with the same intensity and wont be looking for any excuses.”