Sahal’s best is yet to come – Kibu Vicuna wants star midfielder to have a stronger impact

The Spanish coach explained why he chose to sign Juande to replace Sergio Cidoncha …

Sahal Abdul Samad signed a contract extension with Kerala Blasters this summer which will keep him at the club until 2025. The move has made it clear how much the club management thinks about the player and also supports him as the winner of the match.

However, injuries haven’t helped as Sahal has just 209 minutes under his belt this season. Coach Kibu Vicuna recently preferred to use Sahal on the flank and the Spaniard has been asked why.

“Sahal has the qualities to play both inside and outside. He’s a good player in possession and also good in transitions. He’s getting better every day. The best of Sahal is yet to come. He knows he is an important player for us, ”said Vicuna.

Sergio Cidoncha was injured earlier in the campaign and Kerala Blasters have now replaced the attacking midfielder with a defensive midfielder in Juande. Vicuna said the Spaniard, who last played for Perth Glory, can play in multiple positions.

“In the first three matches he (Cidoncha) played in different roles. Juande is an experienced player. The last club he played more as a number six. He can play in different positions, ”Vicuna said.

The Kerala Blasters face Mumbai City FC, who are in great shape this season as they take second place in the Indian Super League (ISL) table.

“It’s a good team with very good players. They play well and are among the best teams in the ISL. We are improving in the training sessions and are happy with the way we are training, ”observed Vicuna.

The good news for Vicuna is that Garry Hooper, Bakary Kone and Costa Nhamoinesu are back in training after missing the last game with injury. In their last game against Hyderabad FC where they claimed their first victory of the campaign, Vicuna had to field Sandeep Singh and Abdul Hakku as two center-backs.

“We will play with the team that we think will be the best. Sandeep and Hakku played well. They train well with more confidence. Costa, Hooper and Kone train. We will play with our best possible line-up that you won’t know until tomorrow.

“Everyone wants to play. Every day we think about the best team to play. Yes, we made five changes (in the last game) and the team performed well, we won. The players who have come want to stay in the team and continue to play, ”he explained.

Vicuna mentioned that he was not a fan of possession-based play and that with the team at his disposal he was flexible in his tactics depending on the opponent. This was best seen in their last game where they allowed Hyderabad to see more of the ball.

“It’s not that we sacrificed possession, Hyderabad is also a possession based team. We defended better, we are working on it. We have created more chances. We are more flexible now, we have different possibilities ”, signed the former coach of Mohun Bagan.

Forward Jordan Murray, who has only got one start in just two appearances this season, has scored two goals and the Aussie wondered if he was comfortable playing alongside his compatriot number nine Gary Hooper.

“It’s definitely a healthy relationship. We all get along. For me it was good to play with him. He’s someone I admire. We use ourselves every day. It’s just work, it’s a competition. I learn from him every day, he learns things from me. It doesn’t cause any harm, ”Murray said.