Cuadrat happy with his players, Jarni satisfied with the point

Despite a flurry of chances, the second match of Hero Indian Super League (Hero ISL) 2019-20 between Bengaluru FC and NorthEast United FC ended in a 0-0 draw at the Sree Kanteerava Stadium in Bengaluru on Tuesday. It was the home team which created most of the chances, but the Highlanders created their fair share with Asamoah Gyan leading the line.

After the stalemate, both head coaches attended the post-match press conference to provide their thoughts on the result. Blues boss, Carles Cuadrat went first, as he explained his decision to start Ashique Kuruniyan and Nishu Kumar at left-back and right-back, respectively. “We had been working in the pre-season with different teams. We had lost Erik (Paartalu) and Albert Serran. They were injured. We knew before the game both were going to be a big miss for us in that kind of game, because the opponents were very physical.”

He added, “And with the pitch and the rain, it was physically demanding for the players. So, we tried to be safe in such circumstances. I am very happy with my players because from the first moment, they were going for the victory. It was quite risky in putting Ashique and Nishu both together in the backline because they are really young. But they understand the plan very well."

The Spaniard, then, expressed his delight at Ashique’s performance. “We know his skills as a player. He is very fast and is also a good runner. I am very happy with his work in the team. He had a great game.”

Cuadrat’s also praised striker Manuel Onwu, as the Blues boss appreciated the work ethic of his new number nine. “He was doing a very good job. He had to play against two foreign central defenders, both had lots of experience and were very tall. So, he was managing that situation and was trying to work for the team,” he said.

NorthEast United head coach Robert Jarni, meanwhile, was quite happy with the point from the fixture. “We played against the defending champions. It was a very tough game. We still need to improve our game. And, we have to work to gain three points in the next game.”

“It was a very difficult match. They are a very good side. Both sides could have won the match. So, we get one point in a very difficult stadium against a very strong team. I am very proud of my players,” he further added.

Speaking about his approach to the match, the Croatian stated, “Everything you saw on the pitch was worked on before. This is how we prepared for our match against Bengaluru. Every game is different. For this match, this is how we prepared. It was working, we got the point and could have won the match. We are happy.”

Finally, the NorthEast United boss also revealed that he was looking forward to the Highlanders’ first home match of the season against Odisha FC in Guwahati on October 26. “It was a surprise for us to see the NorthEast fans here supporting the team. This is special for the players because they were on the pitch and they felt the support of the fans. We are waiting for our home match to find big numbers at the stadium. We can’t wait to play at home against Odisha.”

Read the Match Report here.

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