Bengaluru FC coach Carles Cuadrat has admitted that the game against Hyderabad FC will be tough despite the home side sitting at the bottom of the table. The head coach also praised BFC captain Sunil Chhetri who has found his goalscoring touch again and the hailed youngster Ashique Kuruniyan.
Unbeaten Bengaluru FC travels to Hyderabad to face a depleted Hyderabad FC at the G.M.C. Balayogi Athletic Stadium on Friday. Carles Cuadrat’s men have two wins and three draws and are second on the table with nine points while Hyderabad are the bottom of the table with three points. A win against Hyderabad in the southern derby will take the defending Champions to the top of the table, however, Bengaluru head coach Cuadrat admits it won't be easy.
“They (Hyderabad) need the points. So, it is going to be a really tough game for us. When you lose the game in the circumstance they did in the last game, you get anxious about playing again and show everybody that it was an accident. It makes you more focused and concentrated. They are going to be 100% more focused than they were before in the last game,” said the Bengaluru head coach at the pre-match press conference, ISL website reported.
After Bengaluru's last match solitary goal win against arch-rivals Kerala Blasters FC at home, Kerala head coach Eelco Schattorie, at the post-match conference, claimed only one team played football. When asked about Schattorie's comment Carles Cuadrat had a lot to say and even admitted that his side have a lot of work to do if they are to beat Hyderabad.
“Everybody can express their opinion in football. But I belong to the sports culture that when we lose a game, we congratulate the other team, and we put the eyes in our own house and not in the house of the opponent. I say that because I heard that 'there was only one team on the pitch' and these kind of things. Coaches should give tactical analysis, and if you see the game, (Bartholomew) Ogbeche didn't even get one chance to shoot. Gurpreet (Singh Sandhu) didn't go to the floor, not even one time. We saw Raphael Augusto arrive into the box completely alone two times. We saw in the set-pieces how the best Indian striker in Hero ISL history arrived in the penalty box completely alone."
“There is a lot of work behind what we do and my players are working hard for these results. I'm happy with their performances and I will always praise them for their work. Every football game, for me, is like a game of chess. You have to think about a plan, you have to explain that to the players, then you have to make sure things go right. If you watch the last game carefully, you will notice that there were two teams on the pitch,” the Spaniard further added.
Cuadrat also hailed his captain Sunil Chhetri who scored his second consecutive goal of the season after misfiring in the first three games, “When you are one of the best strikers in the country, you have to contribute a lot to the game of the team. He’s doing his job. He has scored in the last two games, but if you remember, he had a very clear chance in the first game as well. He always does his job to create chances.” the coach said.
The Spaniard also heaped praise on youngster Ashique Kuruniyan who joined the Blues last summer and added, “He’s a talent. He still has to learn a lot of things. After two months working with him, I cannot say that he has changed a lot in the way he is playing. What I can say is that he understands what he is required for the team. Step by step, he is trying to do the things we are asking him to do. I’m sure in the next years he is going to give us and Indian football a lot.”
Star Defender Rahul Bheke, who missed the Kerala match with an injury he picked up against Oman in the World Cup Qualifiers, was present with Cuadrat for the presser and updated about his injury. “Right now, I am feeling better. My physios are working on it. In a few days I will be back. It was a groin injury. So, it was not a tear or something. Just a swelling,” he informed.