Carles Cuadrat: Played against a team with very good coaches
Bengaluru FC hung on to a seventh-minute Nishu Kumar goal to win all three points against Hyderabad FC at the Sree Kanteerava Stadium in Bengaluru on Thursday. After taking the lead, the Blues were locked in an even tussle with the visitors, who kept plugging away to keep the home side on their toes throughout the 90 minutes.
At the post-match press conference, Blues head coach Carles Cuadrat recognised Hyderabad’s improved quality and said, “They have changed some things about the way they play. They have more of the ball now. They have more opportunities with the ball. They have a lot of quality. All their foreigners have a lot of quality. You know when you arrive 1-0 at the end of the game, you are going to have problems because any little bit of quality can make it 1-1.”
“That’s why I was pushing my players to score the second goal. But it was not happening. In the end, we have a clean sheet because Gurpreet (Singh Sandhu) saved the penalty and saved the last action. So, there was not a lot of opportunities for the other team, but only one opportunity can lose you two points. These things happen in football. My players were doing a great job. They were helping each other in defence and going for the counter-attack,” added the Spaniard.
Bengaluru’s goal, though, came from another set-piece which has increasingly become synonymous with them. When asked how he’s gone about perfecting his team at the skill, Cuadrat answered, “We study the other teams a lot. We were studying what to do, and it worked. Normally, it’s a risky action because it’s much easier to play the ball to Erik (Paartalu) because he can win the ball with the jump.”
“But I have great players who trust in what we are doing. They just tried the action and it worked. It was an excellent work on how to clear the space, how to put the ball in the right place, and how Nishu made the goal. We tried it in training and he didn’t come up with the same kind of shot. He did the right thing at the right moment.”
Finally, the Blues head coach appreciated the way in which his opposite number tackled the problem Marcelo Pereira faced after being man-marked by Suresh Wangjam. Cuadrat commented, “We were playing against a team that have very good coaches. One is in Spain (Albert Roca) and one (Javier Lopez) is here, and he is also very good. So, when he saw that Marcelo was man-marked by Suresh, he decided to play Marcelo on the left side. We were planning the situation. We were planning to put (Harmanjot) Khabra in that situation, and it was a misunderstanding between Khabra and Suresh (that resulted in the penalty). They took advantage of that particular moment. They were clever. They tried to change.”
Read the Match Report here.