We must not forget how far we’ve come as a club: Roca

They may have bowed out without the cup, but Blues boss Albert Roca believes his boys have done him and the city proud in their first ever Indian Super League season…

The confetti’s been picked up from the turf at the Fortress and the lights are switched off one last time in the 2017-18 Indian Super League. On the Monday after, at the club office, Albert Roca sat down with us to talk about the Blues’ Indian Super League campaign and the season ahead.

“We had a really good season and it was almost outstanding. We fell at the last step and it hurts, but that’s how it is in professional sport. Everyone knows that we finished eight points ahead of Chennaiyin in the League stages and that is something. My players have done an incredible job during the season and I’m very sad for them and the fans who came to watch us throughout the season,” Roca said.

Mailson Alves’ brace from corners swung in by Gregory Nelson put the Blues behind after Sunil Chhetri had headed home an Udanta Singh cross in the ninth minute, and Roca believes it was a few rare moments that cost Bengaluru the title.

“It’s never easy when you’ve scored the first goal and are having a good game, to concede from a set-piece. Chennaiyin’s second goal came when Dimas was injured, and we were getting a substitute ready, so it was tough to take. Chennai are an experienced team and have a good defensive balance. They wanted to take advantage of any mistakes we made and that’s what they did. To concede two goals from set-pieces in a final is not easy to take, but it’s football and these things happen”

Bengaluru play Aizawl FC in their second clash of the 2018 AFC Cup on April 5th in Guwahati, and Roca believes that the Blues must not mull over the loss against, and move forward with their focus on the Super Cup and Asia.

“Now that the ISL is over, a lot of things change. We have two more tournaments this season; the AFC Cup and the Super Cup. Last season we had a tough campaign in the League, but we reacted well in the Federation Cup to secure that AFC Cup berth. We will get back to work now and be professional in the Super Cup and try to finish first in the South Zone of the AFC Cup.”

Over 25 thousand fans thronged the Fortress for the grand finale of the Indian Super League and the boss thanked the fans for their efforts from the stands.

“I cannot thank these fans enough. It makes us all very sad that we couldn’t win the game for them, but that’s how it is in football. What I know is that they’ve been with us through the highs and the lows, and that they’ll be there to cheer us on when we come back. We must not forget how far we’ve come as a club, and we’ve got a lot more to achieve.”

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