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I don't expect any players joining us - Albert Roca

Written by: Srinivasan

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The Spaniard said the new players are adapting well to his system...

Bengaluru FC coach Albert Roca ruled out any further player signings after the club confirmed the signing of defender Sandesh Jhingan on Thursday. 

“We have enough good players, I don’t expect any other players joining us. I am happy, we have a good balance in all departments. This is the squad I like!," remarked the Spaniard. 

The coach reiterated the need to maintain consistency and team spirit ahead of what is being billed as the "Deccan Derby" against Chennai City FC on Saturday at the Kanteerava Stadium in Bengaluru. 

It is the first time since 2002-03, back when the tournament was known as the National Football League, that clubs from Karnataka and Tamil Nadu are facing off on the pitch. During that season, Indian Bank from Tamil Nadu were up against Hindustan Aeronatics Limited (HAL) and Indian Telephone Industries (ITI). While Indian Bank retained their place in the top flight, HAL and ITI suffered relegation. 

While the tables have turned for a Bengaluru based club in the Indian top flight, Roca is under no impression that this game will be easy. 

"Chennai City FC have got a good squad with most of the players having prior experience of playing in the I-League, they will also be hoping to score and put us in trouble. I am expecting tomorrow’s game to be difficult than the last one”, added the Spaniard.

The former Barcelona assistant coach also hinted that there will not be major changes to the playing XI. 

“Our first game was good, I don’t want to make too many changes, but the other players must be ready to get in as we are playing the next two matches within a week," said Roca. 

Roca was keen that the latest additions to his squad will be given time to settle into the playing style at the club. 

“The new boys are getting used to the system and I’m not keen on rushing them. We’re going to see how this goes,” said Roca. 

The club signed striker Roby Norales and defender Sandesh Jhingan along with the arrivals of Lenny Rodrigues, Harmanjot Khabra, Arindam Bhattacharya and Sena Ralte and Mandar Rao Desai over the summer to complete a season of smart additions to the squad as they look to compete on both domestic and continental levels. 

While the coach is a fan of retaining his winning combination for the game against Chennai City, he did hint that CK Vineeth and Norales may have a role to play. 

“We play again on Wednesday and while we're looking to consolidate our team, there could be minor changes in certain positions," he added.

Roca was quick to caution his side of any complacency that may have crept in considering the fact that they routed Shillong Lajong 3-0 in the opening matchday and that Chennai City FC are just finding their feet on their return to the top flight. 

“Chennai City may be a game old but their squad comprises players who have competed in the I-League and they’re going to look to trouble us. This will be a tougher game than our first one. It’s important that we show the same desire as we did in our game against Lajong,” said the Spaniard while addressing the press on Friday.

 

Published: Sat Jan 14, 2017 11:40 AM IST

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