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ISL semi-final: Bengaluru boss Carles Cuadrat expects a tough second leg against ATK – NewsASAP
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ISL semi-final: Bengaluru boss Carles Cuadrat expects a tough second leg against ATK

The Blues boss suggested that Albert Serran is working on his recovery and they are hopeful of including him in the match day squad…

Bengaluru FC are carrying a one-goal lead to Kolkata to take on ATK in the second leg of the play-offs of the Indian Super League (ISL) 2019-20 season.

A solitary goal from Deshorn Brown had settled the outcome of the first leg in favour of the Blues but they have a difficult task in the upcoming fixture away from home, according to Bengaluru head coach Carles Cuadrat.

“We expect a very tough game. It is the most important game of ATK in their last three seasons. They didn’t reach the play-offs in the last two seasons and for us, it can be the third final in a row. We will try to go to Kolkata and get a positive result.

“In the last game, there was a chance for us to make it 2-0. Kevaughn Frater had a clear chance from a throw-in but their goalkeeper made a wonderful save. Sunil (Chhetri) also got two chances in the second half.”

Spanish defender Albert Serran was forced off the pitch midway through the home tie due to an injury and Cuadrat confirmed that the centre-back is working on his recovery.

“He will try to be with the team. He is working in the recovery. Let’s see now. Our defence has been very consistent this season. The injury to Raphael Augusto after some games forced us to put Albert Serran in every game. Last season I remember we used to put Albert sometimes and sometimes Xisco Hernandez. But this season, because we lost one of our attacking players, we had six foreigners in our squad. Once Manuel Onwu was injured and then Raphael, there was no option. We had to use Juanan and Albert Serran. He was working for us.

“We made a new record in Indian football of keeping 10 clean sheets. So he showed a lot of consistency. Unfortunately, we are missing him but we still have 48 hours. Nishu Kumar will also be missed. If we miss two defensive players if affects the team. But we will put other players in that position. I trust everyone in my team.”

When asked if the Blues manager would continue with his usual pragmatic approach and try to protect the lead, Cuadrat said, “I don’t want to talk about the tactics. It is clear that we will try to get the result. If we arrive at the 90th minute with a  0-0 scoreline, it will be tough. Anything can happen then. We will try to manage the game so that we can go through.”

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