Rotation is key to being in shape for the playoffs: Cuadrat

The Blues Went Down For A Second Game On The Trot Away From Home, And The Boss Spoke About Tactical Shifts And Resting Key Players…

On the performance against Chennaiyin…

We arrived in this part of the season with a points advantage at the top, and that gives us the chance to rotate the squad and preserve some players. We are lucky in that aspect, because there are other teams that have to fight hard for the points at this stage. There is the chance of players getting injured at this part of the season. For us it is only Boithang who has a problem, and the other players are coming back to the squad step by step.

Players like Miku and Luisma they are getting fitter with each game, so we are going to try to manage the situation. Our position on the table allows us to think that the playoffs are not that far away. We are concerned about Erik and I hope he has no injury. We will assess the injury and know soon, but we are trying to preserve players who are important to us like Udanta, who came from the Asian Cup, along with Albert and Dimas who are giving us a lot at their age. We have to manage the situation well, so for us it was not a dramatic moment to lose the game here.

On the AFC Asian Cup affecting players’ performances…

Football is a game of dynamics, and they shape the game. This game was completely ours for about 35 minutes, and we had chances – two for Miku and one for Xisco. They were clear chances to shoot that didn’t go in. Then they took advantage of one mistake from us in midfield and scored.

Throughout the season, we have been using one team, when Miku was part of the squad, and that team was giving us the points. Now that we have the points and we can rest some players, it is a completely different team. So it is normal that the defence does not have the same mechanics that they had during the initial period. If you remember we were playing with the same defence and they were giving us a lot, but we want to rest some of the players because they are going to play an important role should we reach the playoffs. Rahul didn’t start last week and Albert didn’t play today. You have to rotate your squad if you want to be in top shape for the playoffs.

On the absence of Chencho as an option on the bench…

For me it is very clear, that in the first 30 minutes we had the ball and we were dangerous with Xisco, Luisma, Miku, Sunil and Erik, and that is the way we play. Chencho is a great player and a great professional, but he is a more of a counter-attacking player. With the players that we have, we play a certain style of football and so it was a strategic decision to loan him out, keeping in mind the games that we are going to play in the next months. We will see how things are going for him at NEROCA. At the same time, we also have to see how the things are going for us.

On resting key players going forward…

We have to take decisions, and for me this is the right moment to do so. You can see that Sunil and Udanta are coming back from the AFC Asian Cup. When you have players who have played a lot of football, most of them have clocked more than 2000 minutes of competitive football, and you have a game on Wednesday and then a game on Saturday, you have the risk of injuries. That is why I chose Erik and Juanan today, because normally they have no muscle problems.

From the perspective of the table, we are a humble team. Last season, we were in the playoffs with 30 points and as of now we have 31 points. Yes, we have been losing points, but I think the other teams are going to lose points as well. But nothing’s guaranteed in football. We may have to go to Jamshedpur needing a win to qualify for the play-offs, but I hope that we can do it before that.