Roca hails finishing abilities, Portugal rues shorter recovery period
Written by: Srinivasan
The two managers expressed contrasting emotions after the end of a rather one-sided clash which saw the Blues dominate the Lions.
The visitors' coach Miguel Angel Portugal was clear on what was the primary reason for his team's abject performance in the game against Bengaluru FC in the Indian Super League at the Kanteerava Stadium.
"We had only four days for our recovery from our previous game against Pune while Bengaluru had a whole week. So it makes a difference," said Portugal.
The 61-year-old had called out in the pre-match press conference that the team that scored first would most likely be the winning team.
"I knew that the team that scored first would win. I congratulate Bengaluru on this victory. They were the superior side and I recognise that. However, again we had only 4 days to recover while they had 7. In addition, we trained on artificial grass and not the natural pitch which was also a factor," reiterated the former Real Madrid B coach.
He also pointed out that his team would now have a whole week to recover before their next game at home on Saturday, December 3rd against North East United. The Steelmen, on the other hand, would be on the road for the next three games, first of which will be against FC Goa at the Fatorda Stadium on Thursday, 30th November.
The Dynamos coach went on to highlight the detail which the home side exhibited in their set pieces, which led to the first two Bengaluru goals, both by Australian powerhouse Erik Paartalu.
"We did work on our set pieces knowing the kind of players they had. You can see the detail with which each corner was taken," said the coach. ________________________________________________________________________
"Really happy with the finishing- Albert Roca
The Spaniard was all smiles as he oversaw yet another convincing victory for his team at home against the Delhi Dynamos. The Steelmen ran away 4-1 winners through a brace from Erik Paartalu, and the remainder from Lenny Rodrigues and Miku.
“I am really happy with the finishing. Set pieces are one of our weapons and Carles Cuadrat has done a very good job on that. We won the ball quickly. We were superior from the beginning to the end," praised Roca.
“We did a good job pressing well. We saw them play in Pune and we were ready for that. We were a little bit more offensive and we did not let them build up more easily. In the second half they did not create too many chances as a result of this," continued the former El-Salvador coach.
“We checked Edu’s role after the Mumbai game. We felt he would contribute in the centre of midfield and he did a very good job," pointed out the 55-year old.
When asked about Delhi Dynamos coach Miguel Angel Portugal's remarks on the greater recovery period that the Blues had prior to this game, the Spaniard felt that it would be the same for all teams given the format of the league.
“It’s always good to have more days to prepare. But we know this is a competition where we have to play a lot of games in a short space of time. We cannot complain too much and it’s part of our job," said Roca.
The manager also held special praise for Venezuelan striker Miku, who scored his debut goal in the ISL and for the club.
“Striker needs to score goals. He did a very good job today. He is one of the top players in the ISL. He had a lot of chances in the previous game and even in this game. He is not only a striker and has to do more. He is defending, keeping passes when necessary," remarked the gaffer.
The Blues will now have 3 away games to tackle, first of which is a tricky clash at the Fatorda Stadium against a smarting FC Goa. While critics would fancy Bengaluru FC to win on the road, Roca threw caution to the winds.
“We cannot forget that we were in a similar situation in the I-League where we won our initial home games and we couldn’t get a win for a long time later. But this is football and we have to do well on the road. We will be working hard and I know all the other teams will come up and our commitment should be from now until the end of the season," warned the Spaniard.
The coach who has changed the way Bengaluru play their football emphasized that his team would stick to their playing style as much as possible even when they would be on the road.
“I would like my team to play the same way even when on the road. It is not easy for a team to play in a similar way home and away. But with supporters like this who are our 12th man, we will be inspired to give them this level of performance in every game. We may not be able to replicate these sort of performances every time, but we will try to ensure that the gap between our performances at home and away is minimal," signed off Roca.