The Spanish tactician backed his team to bounce back from the debacle in the ISL playoffs.

After a hard-fought game, Bengaluru FC bowed out of AFC Cup 2020 after losing out to Maldivian side Maziya Sports and Recreation Club on penalties at the Kanteerava Stadium on Wednesday night. Although, the Blues led the tie on three separate occasions, it eventually turned out to not be enough. Following the game, Carles Cuadrat with the media interacted in the post-match press conference.

“We have all seen the match, football can be very cruel sometimes. It has been a 120 minutes game with penalties. We have been in a lot of different situations during the game – where most of the times the situation has been against us. Even with these little things, the team had been fighting, been going for the goal, trying to get the round for us and that’s it – this is football. In one year, Rahul Bheke is giving you the trophy, and in another he is missing a penalty,” the tactician began.

Carles Cuadrat went onto explain more about the outcome of the game, as he described three turning points against Maziya on Wednesday night.

“We have to understand that football is like this, but the players have been doing a wonderful job. As I have said to you, we got the 1-0, 1-1, 1-2, like mountains we have to climb and the players were climbing. We scored a goal in the last minute and we took it to penalties. We had three match-points – the Maziya penalty, the Brown shot and the final Maziya attempt. We were very close and the players put in the effort required to get qualification. But, sometimes, things don’t happen and this was one of those times.”

Bengaluru FC youngster Parag Shrivas failed to convert a penalty during the shootout against Maziya S&RC. Speaking regarding the 22-year-old’s penalty-kick, the tactician revealed, “The players have to take this serious. They have to know how difficult it is and he decided that he can shoot. Juanan said that he preferred to wait, so every coach has different strategies. I trust my players completely and am never going to force my players to take a kick, it doesn’t work like this. So, the players take the decisions, and it’s what happened.”

Carles Cuadrat was also quizzed regarding the added pressure of winning the ISL following the exit from the continental competition. “Pressure is always there in football, always, it’s not even in the question. There are always targets to get and there are always pressures, especially in this type of game,” he said.

“The team has been in lots of successful situations. We have been winning six trophies in six years, but we have also had some hard situations at the Kanteerava. Remember the lead against Mohun Bagan and conceding in the last moment and losing the league? Remember the Super League (ISL) final against Chennaiyin, where we were a goal up but lost 3-2?” the Spaniard recalled.

“I trust in my players, they are winners, they never give up. We are going to try to reach the final and we are going to try for the trophy again. It can happen or it may not happen, but the squad is going to fight for that,” Carles Cuadrat further went on to say.

The Bengaluru FC boss was asked about another of the Blues’ youngsters, Suresh Wangjam, Speaking about him, Carles Cuadrat asserted, “Suresh, he is a very talented player. He has been understanding what we ask of him and he has been giving a lot. Unfortunately, he couldn’t finish the game at 100%. Hopefully, he will be ready for the next match.”