ISL- Indian Super League

Sunil played a smart game: Carles Cuadrat after loss to former team

Uttiyo SarkarUttiyo Sarkar
October 4 2023
(Courtesy : ISL Media)

Carles Cuadrat sent a message regarding Naorem Mahesh Singh to the Indian national team.

East Bengal suffered their first loss of the 2023-24 Indian Super League season, as they went down to a 2-1 defeat to Bengaluru FC on Wednesday (4 October) at the Sree Kanteerava Stadium. Despite seeing Naorem Mahesh Singh score a spectacular goal to put them into the lead, goals from Sunil Chhetri and Javi Hernandez condemned them to a bitter defeat.

Carles Cuadrat rues East Bengal’s lack of ruthlessness

Despite the loss, Carles Cuadrat was proud of his team’s effort but wants them to be more clinical going forward. He said after the game: “The sensations we had on the bench is that we dominated every part of the game. If we see the numbers, you’d see we had 12 shots as compared to their four. We had two shots on target, so we have to be more clinical. Getting two shots on target from 12 attempts isn’t good.

“But I don’t want to stress my players. They are working on that in the training. All of us, the players and the supporters know that football is like this, where quality makes the difference. They scored two goals. What a goal from Javi! Sunil played a smart game, as I told him (after the game),” he also added.

Thoughts on penalty incident and wasted efforts

“We got punished against Jamshedpur where we didn’t get a penalty with a clear handball, and the same (handball incident) happened today too! Maybe with two penalties, we would’ve been in a better position,” he stated.

Carles Cuadrat is positive of his side’s ability to finish off their chances better going forward. Also, he refused to rue on the wasted chances from Nandhakumar Sekar and Harmanjot Khabra in the second half. He said: “I cannot ask Khabra to score for me because he never scores for me. He has played over 50 games with me and he’s the one who saves the goals for us. This is football. The important thing is to create chances. We’ve been creating a lot – today we got 12 chances to shoot, last match 14 shot attempts as well. I’m very happy with the players understanding my system, and how we are creating more chances than conceding. This is football, but goals will happen.”

Praise for Naorem Mahesh Singh

Cuadrat had a lot of praise for Naorem Mahesh Singh and sent a message to the national team about him, saying: “He has a lot of quality. We’re very happy with him and how he renewed the contract and stuck to our project. He came with an injury from the national team, so he’s still not 100% fit. But I hope the national team takes better care of him and sends him back in perfect condition (after Merdeka Cup).”

Plans for 17-day gap and message for East Bengal fans

When asked about his plans during East Bengal’s 17-day gap for the next ISL game, the mentor said: “We have a plan. We’ve prepared some friendly matches, one against Gokulam Kerala and another match. This is an opportunity for Hijazi (Maher) to get adapted and understand the tactics. It’s also an opportunity to improve the players who haven’t participated a lot.”

Finally, Carles Cuadrat spoke positive words about the travelling East Bengal fans for their support at the Kanteerava. He mentioned: “When the match finished, we went to them to say thank you because they’ve supported us in all the matches. Their reception was great. They gave me a new jacket with my name on the back. They take care of the little details. It’s nice to share those moments. We’re disappointed that we didn’t give them the win. But they can go home proud of the sensations they felt here.”

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