The Spaniard expressed his views after his side settled for a draw against FC Goa at the Fatorda Stadium.

Just near the hour mark between Bengaluru FC and FC Goa, it seemed like the Blues had the game in their grasp. However, a manic 10-minute burst from their refurbished opponents led to both teams sharing the spoils in a highly-entertaining evening in Goa. Bengaluru coach Carles Cuadrat rued the fact that the team countered on many occasions, but lacked the final pass to create goalscoring chances. 

“I know they studied our system and we tried to change a few things to try to surprise them. I think it was working and I am happy with our match plan,” said the 52-year old after the game. 

Goa’s goals came after a double substitution by debutant coach Juan Ferrando, while Cuadrat had brought on Deshorn Brown at half-time and Rahul Bheke post Juanan’s goal. The Spaniard denied that there was any easing of intensity after the second goal. 

WATCH: Bengaluru FC head coach Carles Cuadrat’s full post-match press conference

“I do not think there was complacency and my players were fighting for the three points. That is what they wanted from the first minute. The thing is that it has been a short pre-season for all of us and everyone has been giving their best. We tried to make substitutions before they scored their two goals, but these things happen. They have a very good team and quality players,” explained the former El Salvador assistant coach. 

“We were making substitutions and bringing on offensive players on the pitch like Dimas. We tried till the very end by bringing on Leon (Augustine) who is another striker, to surprise them with his speed. We were going for three points, but we have to also understand the point of the season we are in now,” he went on to add. 

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Carles Cuadrat also defended the decision to bring on another defender in Rahul Bheke just when Goa were on the ascendancy. “We know Rahul’s qualities. He is a player for the national team and is a good defender. I felt that we needed some fresh legs in the defence. Ashique (Kuruniyan) was doing a good job and because it was a back three, we brought on Bheke to consolidate the result, while Ashique was trying to make an impact in attack. These things happen in football. We had a good match plan. We got a point and before the kick-off we expected a good game.”

The shortened pre-season because of the COVID-19 pandemic will definitely be a factor in the general intensity of games in the Indian Super League (ISL). Carles Cuadrat acknowledged this while reiterating that player management is key in such unique circumstances. 

“I think it has been hard for all the players with only a few weeks of pre-season, which is normal now and not an excuse. It is something that we all must work on. Fortunately, we do not have any injuries today. The last two games we did see something of this sort happening. It is important that we preserve the health of the players,” signed off the Spaniard. 

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