Cuadrat has admitted that the outcome will depend on how the two sides defend against each other…
Bengaluru FC head coach Carles Cuadrat has stressed that he will not let his side’s 2020 AFC (Asian Football Confederation) Cup failure get in the way of their ongoing 2019-20 Indian Super League (ISL) campaign.
“Obviously, things did not go well for us in the AFC match. We are very disappointed but the message in the dressing room is to pick ourselves up and focus on the challenge ahead. Make sure that we give our 100 per cent and get ourselves to a position where we can win the trophy,” Cuadrat stated.
Bengaluru were held by ATK at the Kanteerava Stadium in the Blues’s final game of the league stage. “The past doesn’t count. It is a 180-minute game, because of the two legs (in the playoffs). It was a completely different story what happened last week. As the kids were playing for us and not really fighting for the points. It will be a new situation.”
Contradicting suggestions that it may be a disadvantage to play the second leg of the play-offs away from home, the Spaniard said, “At home we will have the support of our fans. But against Maziya, the second leg was at home and it was not working well for us. All I can is say that these things can affect, playing first at home, scoring first, but at the end of 180 minutes the better team always goes through,” he said.
“ATK are a very good team. It will be a tactical battle between two teams that work a lot in defence. The offensive things depend more on the creativity of the players. Of course, the coach explains how to attack but it depends on individual players at that moment.
“But in defence, a coach can decide how high the line is, whether to keep the offside trap or not. (We can) even decide the width of the pitch. ATK and Bengaluru FC know these things very well. It will be an interesting semi-final.”
Cuadrat backed his side’s conditioning department to have done a good job.
“Of course, if one of the important players is a bit down then it is a problem. When Sunil [Chhetri] is on the pitch, things can happen which are not likely to happen when he is not there. We can say the same with other players also.
The Spanish head coach also confirmed that his team will be without Thongkhosiem Haokip and Eugene Lyngdoh) for the playoffs.