“I know how much the fans want this trophy”

Head Coach Albert Roca Shared His Thoughts Ahead Of A First Federation Cup Final With The Blues. Excerpts…

On his expectations from the clash…

I believe Mohun Bagan are the favourites and we are the underdogs. Bagan have finished higher in the League table that we did, and in the current circumstances we will be without the experience of Cameron Watson and Sunil Chhetri.

Any coach would want his best player on the pitch. If Messi does not play for Barcelona or Ronaldo for Real Madrid it would worry the coach. Sunil Chhetri has been the best player in the League and is also very important for the national side. It is unfortunate that I cannot include him in the game today and the same goes with Watson, who has been a regular in our starting eleven. This is why I believe Bagan will go into this game as favourites.

On how important the title is to Bengaluru…

This game is an important one for us as well as the fans. Bengaluru is used to winning titles as a club and has won a title in each of the last three seasons. I know how much the fans want this trophy and I assure them that the boys will fight for it. It would be nice for us to win this and make it four trophies in four years.

On Bagan’s attacking prowess…

Bagan have a very good attacking side, but we have a very good defensive set up as well. I believe today’s game will be a good battle and the team that has the best balance will win. It is important that we find the right balance in the squad to handle players like Katsumi Yusa, Sony Norde and Balwant Singh.

They are all very good attacking players who can punish us if we make any errors. Our objective will be to counter attack, press on them when they have possession, win the ball back as soon as possible and create chances to try and score.

On playing with one foreigner less than Bagan…

It would be a disadvantage to play without one of our foreigners. We all know how important foreign players are to the teams in this League. Cameron Watson plays a very important role in midfield and has one of the best pass completion rates in the league.

Cornell Glen, on the other hand, is very experienced and also gives us a lot of insight on the Bagan players, as he has played for them before. But the team has changed a lot since he was there and he is currently concentrating on being at his best. If he plays today, I am sure he can change the dynamic.

I am very happy with the way my team has been playing, both in the League as well as in this tournament. I think my Indian players are more than capable of stepping up to the situation. Even though we have one less foreigner on the pitch, I’m sure my team will do their best and they’ll put out a fight.

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