Ashley Westwood to leave Bengaluru FC

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Image Courtesy: © Bengaluru FC Media

Ashley Westwood to leave Bengaluru FC

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Arun S Kaimal


After winning their second I-League title in three years, Bengaluru FC received a massive blow on Sunday when coach Ashley Westwood said that he might leave the club after the club offered him a wage drop. Westwood’s team won the 2015/16 I-League title after they defeated Salgaocar 2-0 at home.

Speaking to the media after the title triumph, Westwood said, "The club (Bengaluru FC) has offered me a wage drop. I feel that I've done a good job here, so a wage drop does not feel right. It is unfortunate, but that is the business of football."

When asked to elaborate on the contract situation, the Manchester United academy product refused to disclose more details, saying that he will never wash dirty laundry in public.

"I would never disrespect the club. That is not my nature. I don't like to talk about dirty laundry. But some people are not on the same wavelength. I have said what I have to but if this club does not want to keep me, I will move on," the 39-year old said.

The British coach’s contract expires in May and Westwood is likely to leave at the end of the I-League season, unless a new improved contract is offered.

When asked about their season, Westwood said that although, they haven’t got the best of the individual talents, the team beat the rest of the challengers after building up a “well-oiled side.”

"All along the season I said 32 points will win it, two points a game and that has been proven right. We haven't had the best squad and not the best individual talents. Individuals win you games and not the league. That's what has happened. You saw a really well-oiled side, all players and staff pulling in the right direction wanting to force the ball over the line," Westwood said.

Ashley Westwood also said that the second title was tougher than the first with the I-League reduced to just 16 games and considering the injuries suffered by his players.

"It is because we have only 16 games to play and won it in the 15th. So, the margin for error was low. 16 games aren't really enough for a consistent team to do it but we won because we were consistent. The first year it was easier because the standard of football was nowhere near. The fitness was not up to the mark. I remember most matches we played, players were dying of cramps and dropping on the pitch. Indian players were not equipped to complete 90 minutes.

"There has been a lot of changes in the last three years. Coaches have gotten better and have learnt new tricks. This one is more satisfying as we have a good bunch of honest lads pushing each other day in day out," said Westwood, before signing off.  

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