The Kerala Blasters head coach admitted that defensive mistakes have cost the team throughout the season.
In what was a forgettable night for Kerala Blasters, the team from Kochi went down 0-4 to playoff hopefuls Hyderabad FC on Tuesday in the Indian Super League (ISL). Kibu Vicuna and his men made very little impact as the Nizams ran riot over them and climbed to the third place on the league standings.
After the final whistle, Blasters head coach Vicuna spoke to the media and shared his thoughts on the defeat. He felt that his team played decently in the first half.
“If you see the result, we lost 4-0. But I think we played very decently in the first half and had the two best chances to score – one each for Prasanth Karuthadathkuni and Gary Hooper. The match was very even till Hyderabad scored the first goal. We then conceded the second goal following a defensive mistake. We are training well in my opinion, but the results aren’t visible on the pitch,” the coach explained.
Reason for repeated failures
When questioned about why the Yellow Army has failed repeatedly in recent games, the 48-year-old attributed it to psychological reasons.
“When you’re in a bad place in terms of the results, you won’t be mentally strong. Throughout this season, it has been very important for us to score first. It has been very hard for us to do so and that has also affected us,” he said.
Having conceded 33 goals across 18 games which is nearly two goals per match, Kerala Blasters are the team with the worst defensive record in the league this season. While speaking in the post-match press conference, Kibu Vicuna admitted that too many defensive mistakes were made by the team over the course of this season and that it should not have happened. At the same time, he also said that he has found it difficult to understand why they continued to happen despite making efforts to rectify them.
“In football, people make mistakes. In the training sessions, we work hard to rectify and prevent these errors from happening,” he said, before adding: “Senior player with lots of experience shouldn’t be making mistakes like these and this has been the story throughout the season.”
Plans for the remainder of the season
When asked about the team’s last two league stage games which will happen in the coming days, the former Mohun Bagan boss cryptically said, “we have time to think about the next game.”
Performance of players
“I think the performances of both foreign and Indian players should be analysed only at the end of the season,” Vicuna said when questioned about the players and how they have fared so far this season. However, he also admitted that the club’s recruitment and signings did not go as smoothly as planned. “Our scouting of the players was bad, the plans and expectations for the season were higher than the reality,” the tactican commented.
“Meanwhile, the Indian youngsters in the team are training well. I am happy with the performances of the likes of Sahal Abdul Samad, Rahul KP, Jeakson Singh, Givson Singh and Prabsukhan Singh the goalkeeper. It is important that they continue have chances although they are young,” he signed off.
Kerala Blasters are at tenth place on the ISL points table, with 16 points from 18 matches (three wins, seven draws, eight losses). They are out of the playoffs race and have two more matches remaining in the league stage, against Chennaiyin FC and NorthEast United.