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Kerala Blasters coach Kibu Vicuna: Versatile Juande will be an asset to the squad

Juande stated that he has confidence in Kerala Blasters turning the table in the remainder of the season…

Kibu Vicuna is not concerned about Kerala Blasters‘ woeful defensive record as long his side scores more goals than they concede. Vicuna is expecting his side to do the same against East Bengal on Friday.

The Blasters have just the one clean sheet in the 2020-21 edition of the Indian Super League (ISL) and have thus far conceded more goals (19) than any other team this season.

“We are trying to improve the balance and try to not concede goals while creating chances offensively. The most important is not conceding goals (how many goals you concede) but to score against your opponent. If you concede but you score (more than you concede), the morale is high,” the Spaniard remarked.

Vicuna opted to go for a two-man front pairing in Gary Hooper and Jordan Murray in their latest 3-2 win over Jamshedpur on Sunday but the coach insisted that it’s style over formation for him.

“Every game is different. So what we are doing is looking at the players we have and the structure we are more confident in and trying to put the best team possible. It’s true that Gary and Jordan performed well together in the last game,” he also addressed questions over his constantly changing backline.

“When you have to correct things, you have to look for the best formation. During the season, you also have physical problems and injuries [and suspensions]. We are always looking for the best formation for every game. We are also working on how to be more competitive in the teams as our objective is to get the three points.”

Kerala have issues to solve, however, in defence with Lalruatthara suspended after picking up a red card. Vicuna hinted that he might use new signing Juande, Sergio Cidoncha’s replacement, in defence given that Vicente Gomez and Jeakson Singh have been combining well in midfield of late.

“He (Juande) can help us in different positions. He’s a fantastic defensive midfielder but can play in other positions as well, like as a central midfielder. We are happy that we have this possibility. So we will see during the match what we are going to do,” the former Mohun Bagan coach stated.

Meanwhile, Juande is confident that Kerala Blasters can turn their season around from a second from bottom position, presently with 9 points from 10 games.

“I saw a lot of games during quarantine. I think we only need to fix the small details. I only come here to help. So it’s not much pressure for me but football as I have played in my entire life. I have good confidence in this team,” he said.

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