We Sat Down With The Blues’ Versatile Defender, Who Spoke About The First Leg At The Kanteerava Stadium, Missed Chances And How His Teammates Will Be Going Out There With A Point To Prove…
Bengaluru: His isn’t the name you’d find being discussed in the papers on the eve of a big game, but Rahul Bheke has developed a knack of turning up rather consistently on stages where the stakes are high. He’s been a rock at the back, but he has also turned up with the most vital of goals when the team has needed one the most. There was that strike against Istiklol at home, then the one in the Super Cup final against East Bengal that sparked the revival that the Blues needed. And his goal against Altyn Asyr a week ago at home leaves Bengaluru with a fighting chance to progress, in the away leg, on Wednesday.
“In the game at home we weren’t really playing the way we had trained all of pre-season and we needed a little reminder from the coach at half-time about it. We know what are capable of and we showed that in the second half. We are going to have to remind ourselves about this once again,” said Bheke.
Bheke rues a few missed chances at 3-2 and he believes one more goal would have changed the complexion of the away leg completely. “At 3-2 we all believed we had one more goal. I got a chance but regret not being able to put it away.”
The Blues need to win by a two-goal margin and the defender feels this could be the trickiest second leg the team has ever played. “We are going to have to score without conceding. Do we go attack early? Do we sit back and then launch an attack in the second half? There are so many ways to tackle this game, but we will solely carry out the plan of the coach.”
Sitting pretty with three away goals and the comfort of playing a decisive game at home, Altyn Asyr won’t be the easiest to break down and Bheke says that it will need the Blues to give as much importance to the mental aspect of the game as much as the tactical side of it. “The belief is there but it’s important to go in with the right mentality. We have to be cautious but we also have to put the pressure squarely on them.”
Bheke will be throwing himself up the pitch at every possible chance and he’s hoping he makes it to the end of most set-pieces. But more importantly, he promises that the Blues will be giving this game their all. “Everything we do today will be 100%, nothing less.”