Cuadrat stresses the importance of ‘preserving players’ ahead of Delhi match

Table-toppers Bengaluru FC will be up against a resurgent Delhi Dynamos FC side at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in New Delhi on Sunday. Uncharacteristically winless in their last two matches, Sunil Chhetri and Co. will aim to get back to their winning habits with a victory against the Lions.

Addressing the recent draw and loss against Kerala Blasters FC and Chennaiyin FC respectively, Bengaluru head coach Carles Cuadrat said, "I don’t consider it a dip in form. What I believe is that in football, little details change the course of the game. Results have been tough for us because of the circumstances. It is not normal that a team like ours, who have conceded the least number of goals in the whole of the season conceded two goals before half time in the last two games. It is how football is sometimes."

Cuadrat then hinted that, like in the last two matches, he may yet again choose to tinker with his team composition in Sunday's encounter. "It may happen (that I’ll rotate). I don’t want to give any clues to the opponent, but it happens, when you are so close to the play-offs you have to think about the crucial games. We want to preserve some players because we had to play seven games in a month," he said.

Midfielder Erik Paartalu would have missed Sunday's match due to the suspension but Cuadrat revealed that the Australian has picked up a knock and might be unavailable for the remainder of the season. "Unfortunately, we have lost a very important player in Erik in the last game. He is not going to be able to help us in the final part of the season. As a coach, I have a plan, but these things happen. We were trying to keep all the players fit, but unfortunately, he hurt himself in a football action and he will be out," Cuadrat informed.

“When you are playing games, you always have the risk of losing players because it is a contact sport. The plan was to get to the play-offs in the best condition, but unfortunately, we have already lost a very important player, who plays a crucial part in the team and also off the pitch, in the dressing room. This is the reason I have tried to rotate the squad, because it is important to preserve your best talents,” he added.

Miku has been starting for the Blues in recent weeks after a long injury layoff, but is yet to reclaim his full form. Cuadrat shared his views on why getting the Venezuelan back in top shape was high up on his agenda and said, "It is very important, he is getting some minutes now. So, it is the moment to have him in form. He is doing a good job, and for him it is a kind of pre-season because he has not played for a long time. We can all see that he is still not the way he was before he got injured, but he is working to recover that form to be useful for us in the next games."

The Spaniard also provided a thorough assessment of the Dynamos squad and stated, "Delhi are a good team, playing good football and they have talented players who are led by a coach with a good philosophy. For me what is an accident is that in this moment they are not fighting for the play-offs because they have the quality and management to do that. They were not in a good dynamic at the start of the season and they are paying for that."

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