Need to show the kind of football Indians can play: Bengaluru FC's Naushad Moosa ahead of Next Gen Cup

Bengaluru FC U-21 head coach Naushad Moosa believes the upcoming Next Gen Cup will be of significant importance for the young Indian footballers participating as his side gears up for action against Leicester City FC on Wednesday.

Champions of the inaugural Reliance Foundation Development League (RFDL), the Blue Colts - as they are fondly known - remained unbeaten in the league. Moosa would be hoping his team carry the same momentum into the Next Gen Cup in a first-of-its kind opportunity for the club to perform against a foreign side on an international level.

Also Read: Kerala Blasters FC, Bengaluru FC name their squads for the Next Gen Cup 2022

Representing India alongside Kerala Blasters FC, Moosa wants his side to be disciplined and has urged them to understand the significance of the tournament. Heading onto the competition with their heads held high, the 50-year-old wants his boys to give their 100% on the pitch and showcase quality football.

Ahead of the kick-off in the Next Gen Cup, the BFC Colts head coach spoke at length about the preparations for the tournament, the performance in the RFDL, and a lot more in an exclusive interview with indiansuperleague.com.

Here are the excerpts of the coach’s interview:

How has been the preparation going so far at Bengaluru FC?

So far, we’ve had a few changes in the team. We got three new players which we scouted from the Santosh Trophy as well as the [Reliance Foundation] Development League. It’s been 20-25 days, we’ve been training. The boys are really positive about the trip, to go out there and give their best.

How is the excitement among the squad given that they have the opportunity to play in the UK?

The way the players are training, you can make out how positive they are, how eager they are to go out there and perform. It’ll altogether be a new and a different experience for them because they’ve never got the chance to play against foreign teams. So, this upcoming tournament will be a great experience for them.

They will get to know the level of football in terms of developing Indian football. They will get the feel of what football exactly is in the UK, or in Europe. That’s something that would be a great experience and a learning moment for these boys.

What will sum up a good trip to the UK? What are your expectations from this tournament?

When we deal with the players, when we talk to the players, it’s very important that we tell them we’re not going as tourists. We’re going there with a purpose, to perform, to play good football, and as of now, Kerala Blasters FC and Bengaluru FC are representing our country. So, there’s lots of expectations and it’s important that both the teams give their best and show what kind of football Indians can play.

We know the level [of football in the UK] but we don’t know the level of our opponents, so that is one obstacle, but still we have been watching a few games of our potential opponents. That way, it’s helping the boys to understand the level of football and we’re planning accordingly.

How have the knowledge sharing sessions with the Premier League academy coaches been? Have those been effective?

Of course, it really helps. Gaining knowledge is always a beneficial factor. We get to know different levels [of football], different ideas, the way they handle things, the way they are doing things. That way it’s been really helpful.

Will it be an objective of Bengaluru FC to win the Reliance Foundation Development League (RFDL) every year?

What we try to do is, always ask the players to give their 100% irrespective of the results because that’s how the sport is. If you see the development league, though we were champions, I’ve said this before too that Kerala Blasters are the better side. They really dominated us, they played incredibly good football. We were lucky, the result came out as a draw and we were champions.

The fans always want the club to win but what I know about Bengaluru FC fans is that they want to see good football. That’s been a real motivation for the coaching staff, the players, and that helps us a lot. So, it’s not always a win-win situation, it’s about playing good football. My discussion with the youth level coaches is the same, they give their 100% and they play good football. Results - you win some, you lose some. What matters is that you have to be happy when you come out of the pitch, you should be thinking, yes we gave our best and we played good football.

What is one thing you would take away from the Kerala Blasters FC team during the RFDL?

I like the way they were attacking, the pace in their gameplay was excellent. I would like to learn how he does that, the way he was using the gaps, the way he was dominating us, always getting behind us, and he was successful every time.

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