Bengaluru FC head coach Carles Cuadrat Thursday said the Indian Super League side appointed him as he would be able to carry forward his predecessor Albert Roca’s philosophy.
Cuadrat, who has been the assistant coach of the Blues since 2016 when he came on board alongside Roca, is now the man in charge..
“The management is always there with a plan. I think it made sense for them to keep the work they were doing with Albert (Roca) and put it in my hands because in the end, it is the same philosophy, that matters,” he told the media in Bengaluru.
The Blues open their ISL campaign with a clash against defending champions Chennaiyin FC at the Sree Kanteerava Stadium on September 30.
Cuadrat said from the very beginning the team management has been encouraging and supporting him to execute their plans for this year’s Indian Super League. Cuadrat also spoke about his predecessor’s work last season as Roca produced results for the team despite packed schedules, in contrast to this year’s itinerary where BFC does not have any AFC Cup commitments.
“I don’t think lack of AFC Cup matches will have any impact. Football clubs want to contest consistently. There was no problem last ISL,” he said.
Cuadrat said his team is raring to go for the title, which they could not win last season even after a good campaign. He also said their first aim would be to reach the playoffs and then concentrate on semifinals and final.
Asked what is in store for BFC after an AFC Cup exit, Cuadrat said they were defeated at the hands of good rivals and his team were at the beginning of the season.
The BFC coach outlined the need for the club to maintain the high standards they have set in the last five years as they gear up for their season opener against Chennaiyin FC.
“The most important thing for us at Bengaluru is that we have to keep our mentality intact. We want to win trophies like we have in the past seasons, and we also want to reach the final stages of competitions. The club has always been competitive and when you reach that stage, it’s just about the last few games which decide whether you become champions or not,” said Cuadrat.
“Last season we had an amazing league phase in the ISL which brought us to the big final. We fell short there, but went on to win the Super Cup. Similarly, the club had lost a league title at home a few years back in the last few moments. What makes the club and the supporters stronger is the desire to reach and stay at that level and that is something we work very hard on,” added Cuadrat.
Bengaluru custodian Gurpreet Singh Sandhu played down the hype surrounding the Blues’ opener against Chennaiyin FC while highlighting the importance of putting on a good performance in front of the home fans.
“We have to begin the season against someone, and if that someone is Chennaiyin, so be it. What’s important is that we go out there each time and put on a good performance. What matters is not who the opposition is, but that we focus on what we can do well. Every season is an opportunity to do one better, not just as a team but as an individual as well, so I’m just looking to contribute to the club in this campaign.”
Playmaker Dimas Delgado who has been out of competitive action since last season’s ISL final, made his comeback during the pre-season in Spain. However, having picked up another injury, the Spaniard was further ruled out of the Blues’ AFC Cup knockout campaign. Fit again, Dimas said he was raring to go.
“It feels really good to be back in shape. I have been working for a long time to get back from the injury I suffered against Chennaiyin in March. I wanted to play in the AFC Cup, but couldn’t. Now that I am fit and ready, I’m eager to help my team as much as I can.”
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