Indian football great IM Vijayan, an icon of Kerala football has backed the Kerala Blasters FC to claim their first-ever Hero Indian Super League (ISL) title on Sunday as they take on Hyderabad FC in the final at the PJN stadium in Margao, Goa.

The Blasters have twice lost in the Hero ISL finals in the past (2014 and 2016) but Vijayan believes that dedication and quality of the players and the influence of head coach Ivan Vukomanovic can help the Koch-based outfit take the final step this time.

Vijayan caught up with the Hero ISL Media team ahead of the big match for an interview.

Here are the excerpts from interview:

Will Kerala Blasters win this time?

In Kerala, we used to say if you miss the first one, we must take the third one. We will bring the cup home, from Goa. Initially people believed that Kerala teams can win trophies only on home soil. But now we have the ability to win the cup in Goa. There is always high pleasure when you are trying to win a cup away from your home. That’s how I always felt as a player. My belief is that the Blasters can perform as well as they did in these last semi-final matches in the final.

What factor do you think can make the difference for Kerala Blasters FC in the final?

Kerala Blasters FC are a great team. We have a team of players who approach the game very sincerely. In particular, Adrian Luna. His goals were very outstanding. We have seen a lot of incredible goals in the World Cup, the Premier League, and the Spanish leagues. Similarly, when there are players like Luna who score goals, I believe we should not be afraid of anyone.

What has worked well for Kerala Blasters FC this season?

In previous seasons, Kerala Blasters FC also had good players. But despite winning the first game, we lost many subsequent games. But in this season, it is not the case. That's what I said before, that I have never seen such sincere foreign players in KBFC before. To this day, I have rarely seen players in the Blasters tracking back and defending like Luna. He is a perfect fit for Kerala Blasters FC.

Ivan Vukumanovic's coaching excellence is one of the highlights. What do you think of him?

He is absolutely a silent killer. He is a person who does not get up from his seat under any circumstances. He is also a person who always maintains calm whether the team scores a goal or misses a goal. He is the backbone of the Kerala Blasters team. The team will win under his guidance, no doubt about it.