Cuadrat expecting fierce encounter against Chennaiyin
League leaders Bengaluru FC will look to seal their place in the play-offs when they take on southern rivals Chennaiyin FC at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in Chennai on Saturday. The Blues come into this fixture on the back of a thrilling 2-2 draw against Kerala Blasters, which saw them pull back a two-goal deficit in the second-half, while Chennaiyin are still on the lookout for their first point of the calendar year. Given the rivalry which emerged between the two sides last season, this encounter promises to be one to savour.
At the pre-match press conference, Bengaluru head coach Carles Cuadrat shared his views on the encounter. "There is a rivalry between these two sides. It does not matter if you are at the top or bottom, these kinds of games are special. I know that Chennaiyin are a really brave team and I am sure they will be fighting for three points tomorrow," he said.
Asked about Chennaiyin’s poor form this season, the Spaniard responded, "I have to be honest. When we saw that Chennaiyin were our first opponents in Hero ISL 2018-19, we knew that it was a big test and we were happy to have won that game 1-0. At that moment, we thought we would be fighting with them for a spot in the playoff. It's a surprise, but that's how it is in football sometimes."
"There is no mathematical reason. In football, these things happen and suddenly a champion team can struggle to get results. I know that they are a completely different team now with some new players and will look to win," he added.
The biggest factor behind Bengaluru’s success this season has been their resilience and never-say-die attitude, which was displayed against an inspired Kerala outfit earlier in the week. Looking back at the encounter, Cuadrat said, "I am very proud of the second-half against Kerala because we had a plan and my players executed it well. We passed the ball well and we were calm in our approach. This is one of the things we have at Bengaluru FC. We always want to go for the three points."
Cuadrat was also delighted with the return of his star striker Miku, who missed a large part of the campaign due to an injury. "We lacked our number nine for a major part of the season. We trust Miku with that position and we didn't really have a second option there. Miku played five games, and we got 13 points from 15. And in the last game, when he came on as a substitute, the score was 0-2 and then we made it 2-2. He will play again tomorrow, but I don't know if he will start or if he will be on the bench again," he said.
Click here to read the match preview.