Our plan of rotating the squad worked quite well: Cuadrat

The Boss Discusses A Historic Triumph, The Game Plan And The Never-Say-Die Attitude Of The Blues

On a strong defensive display…

It was risky to play without Serran in the defence. He has been manning the defensive lines against all teams, creating a lot of off-sides for attacking players of other teams. The rest of the guys have been learning from that, but I am very happy with this team with young players who are fantastic. The likes of Nishu, Rahul and Khabra they have been there from the last few seasons. We decided that we need to go more offensive and so we put in Xisco instead of Serran. I am very happy that the plan worked and Goa were not able to create many chances. Coro wasn’t able to create much in the three games he played against us this season, so we have to be very happy with the defensive work that we put in. Even Sunil and Udanta helped us a lot in defence.

On the goal coming in so late…

We were up against a good team in Goa who are very good defensively. They notched up quite a few clean sheets towards the end of the season with the new system by putting Pena as a central defender. So it was normal that it would take time because they were doing their job well defensively. We had a chance with Miku and he hit the post before extra time. In extra time, it was a completely different situation, because we have to play for 30 minutes and we were trying to play it safe behind. At the end we put on wingers Kean and Boithang alongside Sunil and Miku as strikers. I am happy that at the end, we got the goal before the penalties.

On if Mandar’s injury for Goa changed BFC’s plan…

Well, it makes us feel that we have taken good decisions about rotating some players because I think we arrived to the game in a much better physical condition. We only made one substitution in the 90 minutes which means that the rest of the players were fresh with the kind of rest we gave to some of them. The plan has been working well for us. Of course, Mandar is an important player but the youngster (Saviour Gama) who came on for him was working very hard against Udanta.

On the never-say-die attitude of the team…

I think that we have a deal – a deal with the players to not even talk about that but it (the attitude) was already there from the very first moment. I was in Spain during the last part of the last season when Albert decided not to continue because of family reasons. The players were talking to the management and said Carles will do a good job, and that is one of the reasons along with the attitude that’s already there behind me taking the responsibility. I had to do it, so I have to say from the first time we had that attitude. We built on things that we did well last season, and you know I am very happy because I have been demanding quite a lot from all the players and they have been working a lot.

On Chhetri finally winning the ISL having topped the league thrice…

I want to talk about the consistency Sunil has had. He has won the regular season three times in a row now in the Indian Super League. It means every week he is putting in the effort. I am very happy that he finally got the title after topping the table three times.