Cuadrat expects a stern challenge for his side against Jamshedpur

Defending champions, Bengaluru FC will be keen to get their first win of the season when they travel to face Jamshedpur FC at the JRD Tata Sports Complex on Sunday. The Blues haven’t enjoyed the greatest of starts to their Hero Indian Super League (Hero ISL) 2019-20 campaign, picking up just two points from a maximum of six available to them.

However, according to their head coach, Carles Cuadrat, his players haven’t done much wrong and therefore, shouldn’t be too disheartened with themselves. “If you see last season, Goa only lost five games and three of those were against us. That season we were in the same (position that we are in now). Unfortunately, the decision of one player at the end of the game, lost us two points (in our last match). But I’m very proud of the tactics we were using,” said the Spaniard in the pre-match press conference ahead of the Jamshedpur fixture.

“If you see Coro (Ferran Corominas), he was not creating any chances. It’s a proud thing for me to be able to stop a team like Goa. So, I’m very happy. We are in that kind of moment where we have lost four points from six. So, we have to be stronger than ever about the mental situation. We know that we were working for six points, but we only have two. It happens. I think that the guys and everybody is understanding the situation, and that we will be strong against Jamshedpur.”

Despite being an out-and-out winger, new signing, Ashique Kuruniyan has been deployed as a left-back in both matches so far. Asked whether he was re-evaluating that decision after Ashique’s last-gasp foul gifted Goa a penalty in the last fixture, Cuadrat answered, “Ashique is a wonderful player who can play all over the left side. I think that we have to find a place for him in the team. Because of the situation with Erik (Paartalu) and Albert (Serran) out of the team, I have to put (Harmanjot) Khabra in the middle. So, I decided to put Ashique at left-back.”

“He has played 193 wonderful minutes and made a very big mistake. In football, you learn. Sometimes you have to live through that experience to improve as a player. But I have no doubt that Ashique is going to help us a lot. He is going to play in different positions in the team. He has the conditions to be a great left-back.”

The 51-year-old then, shared his opinion on Jamshedpur and revealed his admiration for their head coach, Antonio Iriondo. He said, “They have been doing really well. They feel good. They have a nice atmosphere there. The coach is a very tactical coach. We have a lot of respect for him. He has been working for more than 20 years in all categories in Spain and has been successful in getting very humble teams to the top professional leagues. It means there is a lot of work involved.”

“He also brought a good bunch of Spanish players, and the Indian players from Jamshedpur we know them, they are really good players. Farukh (Choudhary) has started the season very well. They are a team who will be difficult to beat, but we need the points and we will try to fight for that.”

Centre-back, Juanan was also in attendance at the pre-match briefing. Like Cuadrat, the Spaniard was also full of praise for Ashique, stating, “I am very happy with Ashique at (left-back), because I think he played well in our first two games except for the last minute in Goa. But this is football.”

The Blues defender then added, “I’ve play professional football for 12 years. I try to help the team. I help Rahul (Bheke), I help Khabra. I help Dimas (Delgado) because I (can) see from the back. I work for the clean sheets. I don’t see the other strikers.” 

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