Our strong character helped the talent we have: Roca

The Boss Discusses An Epic Comeback As The Blues Made Their Way To The Final Of The Super Cup…

On the comeback from a goal down in first half, and a man down in the second…

It’s something that happens in football – when one team thinks that everything is done, and the other has nothing to lose. We don’t know what would have happened if Nishu wasn’t sent off, but we have showed the right mixture of character that helps the talent we have in our squad. A mixture of these two things is what I believe gave us the victory.

On coming out on top in tough conditions…

The first half was an even affair and they scored from what was a half chance. It was so hot out there and it was not easy for anyone. In football anything can happen, but I know that without the character, our talent wouldn’t have helped us make a comeback. I am very proud of my players today, given the way they have faced the situation which was not easy at all.

On changing the playing style many times…

We changed the system, because we thought we weren’t deep enough in attack, also because of the weather. Moreover, we had a problem in the warm up where we lost Juanan. We had to try a new system in the second half to surprise them and I think we did well by causing them certain problems and creating chances. Then again with the red card, we had to change our system and for me it was quite difficult. When we scored the goals, we changed our plan again and that’s the quality of my players.

Even in such a difficult scenario, they understood the situation, especially in the second half. More importantly, they were relaxed and didn’t commit any mistake by rushing into it. Anybody who is on the pitch for us gives his hundred percent, irrespective of whether they start or come off the bench. Everybody has been working hard throughout the season, and I’m very happy for each and every one of them.

On the turning point in the match…

Perhaps Nishu’s sending off. Nobody knows what would have happened with eleven players on the field. But at that moment, everyone thought it was impossible. But perhaps we thought, we had nothing to lose and went ahead because sometimes the other team doesn’t know how to react in such situations. We smelt the opportunities and tried to grab them. Mohun Bagan is a very good team and these things happen all over the world.

On the upcoming final against East Bengal…

I’ve always maintained that we take games one step at a time. Past results don’t count in the final because East Bengal have been a very good team in this tournament. The important thing is to rest well, prepare systematically and give everything on the pitch. It’s been a long season, and I know that my players are going to go out there and give it their very best on Friday.