The Spaniard explained the club’s plan to bounce back in the league ahead of the upcoming season.
It was a difficult start to life in the Indian Super League (ISL) for Hyderabad FC as they finished bottom of the table. Following a disappointing first season in the top flight, the club have set out on the road to recovery. As the first step, they roped in a highly-regarded figure in Indian football, Albert Roca, as their new head coach for the next campaign.
The Spaniard monitored the team in the latter stages of last season and chalked out a plan for his first term in-charge. “It wasn’t an easy year for the club. Everybody was a little disappointed with the results that we had,” Albert Roca told Khel Now in an exclusive chat.
One of the major weaknesses of the team in their debut season was the lack of squad depth. Thus, once the term concluded, a major squad overhaul was anticipated. Albert Roca admitted to the fact that Hyderabad FC will be the team that makes the most changes in the summer. Evidently, the club released 10 players, with Gurtej Singh, Kamaljit Singh, Robin Singh, Rohit Kumar among the big names to depart.
“The first task for everyone now is to get adjusted to the new way and try to compete, better while having the right mentality. We know it’s easier said than done,” Roca hinted at instilling a new philosophy at the club.
“We know the challenge that lies ahead for us. It’s a question of working hard, trying to impart our philosophy to the players and try to grow together as a team.”
Looking back at his time in India, Albert Roca attained great levels of success with his previous assignment at Bengaluru FC. One cannot forget ‘that’ AFC Cup campaign in 2016, when he led the Blues to an unprecedented and historic run to the final.
Four years later, Indian football has changed. FC Goa writing history by qualifying for the AFC Champions League group stage is testament to the progress the league has made in all these years. “I am very happy to return to India. In the past I have enjoyed my job here. It’s always exciting, to come to a league that, I think, is improving more and more, every year,” opined Roca.
However, the 57-year-old is now more focused towards his current assignment. “It’s not just about one club. I know a lot about Indian football and the Indian Super League. So, I know about most of the players that have played in the ISL. It is of tremendous help to have an idea.”
“But it is also true that only the idea is not enough. I am someone who focuses more on my team,” he added.
In unprecedented times like these, it will be a challenge for all the clubs to keep pace with the game. Yet, Albert Roca is confident that his side will leave no stones unturned to reinforce team spirit and achieve a lot by staying focused on the game.
“We aren’t scared and what we want is to start with the best mentality and keep working hard,” he asserted.
“Our aim is to implement our philosophy of football. The entire club has to work as a unit to make our goals come true. We aren’t much into the past, but just focused on what we want to do in the future,” concluded Albert Roca, with a strong thought.