Cuadrat: First goal was always going to be decisive

Bengaluru FC suffered their first-ever loss against ATK FC in the Hero Indian Super League (Hero ISL) after going down 1-0 at the Vivekananda Yuba Bharati Krirangan in Kolkata on Wednesday. David Williams' 47th minute strike proved to be the difference between the two sides on the night.

At the post-match press conference, Bengaluru head coach Carles Cuadrat explained his decision to start Rahul Bheke on the left-hand side of the three-man defence – a tactic that had a major say in ATK’s goal. He said, “As a coach, you have to take decisions. So, we were working like this because it was working well to control the two strikers (Roy Krishna and David Williams). He was working well in defence. It was true that Rahul was having some problems in the left side. But he has been playing as a left-back a lot of times. So, we were hoping that it was going to work. So, we were talking about that in half-time, but they were feeling comfortable. So, we decided to keep the same positions. But, unfortunately, there was a goal against us. So, I tried different things after it.”

“We later played 4-3-3 and finally we played 4-4-2. As a coach, you try everything you have. I think it was that kind of game where the team who scores the first goal has a lot of advantage, because then, the other team has to attack. So, we were trying to be the first team to score but it was not possible to score,” added Cuadrat.

The Spaniard also revealed that he had warned his players at half-time that they needed to be wary of ATK’s aggressive start to the second half. He said, “Every game has a different story. We really controlled ATK and we knew that they were playing three days ago. So, it was a question of waiting for the right moment of the game to attack. If you see the last 20 minutes of the first half, it was completely our game.”

“If you think that they were playing only three days ago and we had a one-week rest, you think that in the second half we were going to have chances to score. At half-time we were talking to our players. I told my players that the first ten minutes of the second half will be the moment they will be pushing us a lot. We had to pay attention and not concede in the first 10 minutes. But they scored.”

Finally, the 51-year-old defended the performance of Raphael Augusto, who had a bad day at office on the night, and said, “Every player has his different moment in the season. He has been out of competition for the last game because he was having a problem. He was coming back and I substituted him because he didn’t have the energy the other players had.”

Read the Match Report here.

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