Opportunity to train Iniesta-led Vissel Kobe ‘a gift’, says Lotina

Tokyo, Apr 8 (EFE).- Spanish coach Miguel Angel Lotina considers the opportunity to train Andres Iniesta-led Vissel Kobe in Japan “a gift” even though the club tries to deal with a less than promising start in the first division (J1) of the Japanese league.

“It’s a challenge, because it’s a lot of responsibility, but at the same time it’s a gift,” Lotina said on Friday while being presented as a new coach of the team, which includes former Barcelona players Iniesta, Sergi Samper and Bojan Krkic.

“As soon as I was asked, I said yes. I didn’t hesitate for a second,” the coach said of the proposal made by Vissel.

Lotina was to have his first meeting with the team during the day and convey his vision for them moving forward.

Although Vissel Kobe is currently among the bottom two on the points table, the Spanish coach believed “the group is a good group, with a desire to work hard and improve, and very professional.”

Lotina takes the reins of Vissel from Barcelona’s Lluis Planaguma, who served as interim coach following the dismissal of Japan’s Atsuhiro Miura in March.

Vissel have faced three defeats and two draws in the five matches played so far in the J-League this season.

Lotina faces his first challenge managing the new team on Sunday against Cerezo Osaka, currently ranked seventh and a team he once trained.

The team has a very tight schedule this month. From Apr.16, Vissel will play six games in 15 days within the framework of the Asian Champions League, which complicates the training process, leaving new coach “with a lot of work.” EFE


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