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Roca prioritizes winning, Pereira reveals plan to stick with ideals


 The Gaurs need a win to get back into the top four while the hosts will look to further consolidate their place at the top of the league.

Bengaluru FC host FC Goa in the Hero Indian Super League (ISL) 2017-18 at the Sree Kanteerava Stadium in Bengaluru on Friday. The Blues, who are presently five points clear atop the table, enter the match on the back of four consecutive wins. They will be pumped up to get a fifth win against a team who have scored the highest number of goals so far but are yet to maintain a clean sheet. However, the league debutants will also be wary of the fact that they were edged 3-4 by the Gaurs earlier this season.

Reminiscing the setback that occurred during late November was the hosts’ head coach Albert Roca, who shared his views with the media in the pre-match press conference. “I remember that game,” he reflected. “Even though we were playing against a very good team, we had our chances. But I was not happy with the way they won, given the circumstances. So, tomorrow, I hope we will have a normal game. But yes, it’s a football game against a very good and difficult team.”

The Spaniard also maintained that making the playoffs had always been of utmost priority to the Blues. “We are happy to have these results because it gives us an advantage in the standings,” he said. “But, first of all, we have to ensure our position in the playoffs, which was always our first goal. Tomorrow we all play against a team who I think will also be in the top four because of the way they are playing and the quality of their players. It is a good test, but we will first have to ensure three points.”

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When asked about what was Bengaluru’s aim going into the match, the 55-year-old replied, “Clean sheet is always nice. But for spectators, it is always better to watch a game with a lot of goals. But as a coach, if you see that kind of a game, you go crazy! What is important is to win. It does not matter how. So, tomorrow will be a really interesting game.”

He further continued, “The intention is to win and get three points and keep working as we did in the last four games. We are going in the right way. I think we have to be ambitious but intelligent at the same time. We also have to improve certain aspects of our game. We may be winning a lot of matches, but we are not perfect. We are far from being a great team.”

Meanwhile, FC Goa assistant coach Derrick Pereira talked about his team’s approach to the game, insisting that their lack of a single clean sheet this season won’t change their playing attitude. “I think we play as a team and we follow certain ideas and philosophies,” he stated. “We will stick to that. We play attacking football, which is possession-based, and we get punished at times when we make mistakes. This has been the story of our season. But we will not change our ideals. We will play the way we play.”

Published: Fri Feb 09, 2018 01:20 PM IST


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