Carles Cuadrat braced for a ‘demanding visit’ to Goa

Match nine of the Hero Indian Super League (Hero ISL) 2019-20 season will see defending champions, Bengaluru FC face last term’s runners-up, FC Goa at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in Goa on Monday. The Blues picked up just a single point from their opening matchup against NorthEast United, and will have nothing less than a win on their minds come Monday.

Head coach, Carles Cuadrat though, acknowledged that it would be far from an easy task considering the kind of opposition they were going up against. Speaking at his pre-match press conference, he said, “Goa is always a very demanding visit because they have a wonderful team. It’s very similar to us that they have been with the same team for a long time.”

“I hope it will be an interesting game. I think that whenever we play against Goa, both teams produce a nice spectacle for the supporters. So, that is what I’m expecting. It’s a very early in the season and points, of course, are important. But we are not in that dramatic moment. So, I think both teams can play a nice game and try to give a nice show to the supporters,” he added.

The absence of Miku, who left the club ahead of this season, was somewhat evident in the Blues’ opening fixture, but Cuadrat felt his team exhibited enough attacking verve to hint at a successful future. “Miku is always going to be a big miss for any team because he is a very special talent. But I think the team was able to create a lot of chances without Miku.”

“We also have been training for that because we missed Miku for half of the season last term. I’m happy with what the players are bringing to the team. I think in normal circumstances, we should have scored some of the very clear chances we had (against NorthEast). We have been working on a lot of different things. We can manage the situation of creating chances with or without Miku.”

The Spaniard also expressed satisfaction at the performance of new striker and Miku’s replacement, Manuel Onwu. “Yes, he was doing his job (against NorthEast). He was doing good against two foreign defenders with a lot of experience. Against Goa, maybe he has to fight against (Mourtada) Fall and Carlos Pena. It’s a new league for him, new teammates, a lot of new things for him. But we have to support him because he is one of our important players.”

Midfielder Dimas Delgado accompanied his boss to the media briefing, and he, too, extended his support for Onwu. “Onwu came here with an intent to score goals and we are here to help him. And he will give us a lot. So, we are not worried about him or anyone because we know, we as a group, are a powerful team. We keep working on our things and try every day to be better.”

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