Carles Cuadrat: First goal will be crucial in Chennaiyin clash

After a 1-0 win over Paro FC in the first leg of their 2020 AFC Cup Preliminary Stage 2 clash, a buoyant Bengaluru FC return to Hero Indian Super League (Hero ISL) 2019-20 action with a trip to the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in Chennai to face Southern rivals Chennaiyin FC on Sunday. The defending champions are close to sealing a semi-final spot, but can hardly afford to slip up, as they attempt to chase down the elusive top spot.

At the pre-match press conference, Blues head coach Carles Cuadrat shared his thoughts about the upcoming challenge against an in-form Chennaiyin side and stated, “For sure, Chennaiyin are in a positive mood. They are fighting for the top four also. For them, it is also an important game. Three points at home. But our work is to also fight for our objectives. We will really go for the three points. We can expect a really exciting game because when you see two teams going for the victory, it’s nice.”

Assessing Sunday’s opponents, the Hero ISL 2018-19-winning head coach opined, “It’s clear that with the new coach (Owen Coyle), they have another kind of spirit in their game. He has been getting them to believe more in the creative process. They have become a team who score a lot of goals. They are defending very well also. So, it can be a very interesting game.”

Stressing the importance of the first goal in the contest, Cuadrat noted, “A lot of things are important in these kind of games. For example, who is the first team to score the goal. The three games that we have lost, it has been because when the other team scored first, they were comfortable. We will try to be the first team to score. But we know it is not going to be easy.”

The 51-year-old also urged his players to stay focused and continually chase improvement in their performances. He commented, “We want to be in the top four and if it’s possible, to be in the first place. Because it gives you the gift to play the AFC Champions League. A lot of times, you make a plan and it doesn’t work. The competition is very intense. We just have to try and improve. At the end of the league, the top team is the one who deserves the AFC spot.”

Asked if he would be considering some sort of a rotation in the match, Cuadrat said, “We cannot afford the rotation. We want to fight for the (AFC) Champions League slot and semi-finals as well. So, we cannot afford the rotation.”

New signing Francisco Borges was also in attendance at the pre-match briefing. He said, “I am happy to come here. It is my first week here. I like the environment around the club, the supporters, the staff, the players. I am very happy to be here, and I want to help the team to achieve things.”

Read the Match Preview here.

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