‘My players showed good attitude throughout the game’

The Blues Suffered Their First Defeat Of The Campaign Against ATK Mohun Bagan, And Blues’ Boss Carles Cuadrat Spoke To Us About The Result…

On the result and his side’s performance against ATK Mohun Bagan…

It has been a difficult December, with five games in 21 days. We tried to push some new legs; with starts for Udanta, Brown, Cleiton. We had Bheke as well to try some rotations, in order to get the physicality that we knew ATK were going to show. In that aspect, I am happy because my players matched up to it for 95 minutes.

On parallels between this result and the semifinal fixtures last season…

The game is different, but if you see it’s the little margins that make the difference. The quality of Roy Krishna and David Williams have punished us again. ATK finished their chances and that’s what made the difference.

On his assessment of the game…

We knew it would be a gritty game, either a 0-0 or a 1-0, and we tried to go for the goal with Udanta and Brown because they had more energy. They scored first and then it became tough for us to break the defensive line. They did the same thing they did against Goa, against us. We had a plan for that and we worked in training to try and surprise them. It’s difficult because they are a physical team that plays with close lines and there isn’t too much space.

On his decision to introduce Suresh in the second half…

I knew that in the second half there would be more space and that was for Suresh. It worked well, because Udanta did the dirty job in the first half and we tried the same with Suresh in the second half. It was working because there was that chance with Leon and Suresh, and we almost scored with Cleiton.

On positives to take away from the game…

There are a lot of positives from this game. It was a tough fixture against a physical team. We know that ATK will fight for the playoffs and Asian slots and we were close to getting something from the game. The players showed good attitude, that they understood the match plan and that they are physically ready. I am very happy with my team.