“The boys performed well under pressure”

Coach Albert Roca Spoke To The Club Website About Chances, Super Subs, Special Performances And More Following The Win Over Chennai City FC. Excerpts…

On the message to the players at half-time…

We played some good attacking football in the first-half, even though the scoresheet didn’t reflect it. The first goal is always the most important and going into the break, Chennai FC looked like they were going to take away a good result. So it was always a question of finishing the chances we were creating.

We couldn’t get a lead even though we had our chances and this game was a good test for our patience and grit. The boys have faced similar situations before and coming away with the three points shows their capacity to perform under pressure.

Performance of the two goal-scoring substitutes…

I’m happy that the substitutions worked in our favour, but this was part of our plan. We had worn out the opponent and never stopped attacking so we introduced the two strikers, who could go on and make the difference.

On Lyngdoh’s deeper defensive role…

Cameron couldn’t play due to a stomach bug, so we made a last-minute change to our tactics. Eugeneson had to sit deep and limit his offensive play. He adapted really well and his versatility was on show. In the future, we may have to employ other players out of position. That’s how football works.

Thoughts on the performance of Lenny Rodrigues…

Lenny has shown us what he’s capable of. His physical style of play is what we require in games like the one against Chennai, where you need to muscle through the defence and breaks down attacks. We need someone like him who can toil through the 90 minutes and never be out of focus.

Using Roby Norales in the second-half…

We knew we couldn’t start with Roby up front, as he had very few sessions with the team. But I am happy with his performance, both on the field and in practise. He came into the team with the right frame of mind and even though there is a language barrier he hasn’t let that come in the way. Today he entered that pitch wanting to make a difference, and made it count when it mattered the most. Hopefully the goal will motivate him and help him grow into the system faster.

On the chances created by the Blues…

It is always a cause for concern when chances are not finished, but this is not limited to just Bengaluru FC. Even Real Madrid and Barcelona struggle with conversion rates sometimes. We know that only scoring goals will win us matches.  There will be days where we might be the best team on the pitch, but we may not come off with a win and so we have to keep working hard.

On defending Bengaluru FC’s reputation as the toughest home team…

We have to be ready for every team that visits Bengaluru. All the teams want to come here and take something away from the game so the boys need to be extra focused going in to every match. We have to accept that because that’s how it is when you are the champions.

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