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We are lacking that one moment of quality - Roca

Written by: Srinivasan

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The Blues manager retained perspective after the draw against Mohun Bagan...

The Blues boss rued his team’s ability to convert their chances as the Garden City club were held to a 0-0 draw against Mohun Bagan at the Kanteerava Stadium.

“We tried really hard but sometimes you need that little bit of luck and also we also needed that little extra quality in those last few meters or else we would get punished. It was a hard game and Mohun Bagan has a very good team. It was very hard for us and I think the final result was right,” observed Roca.

The coach highlighted how his players derive motivation from a different cause despite not being involved in the title race.

“It is difficult for players to be motivated when you are not involved in the title race. But I cannot complain because the boys are working incredibly hard. The training sessions are good. They have played really well on the pitch. But again it was that one moment of quality that is missing and not allowing us to finish off games,” said the Spaniard.

The 53-year old defended the performance of left back Nishu Kumar who had a torrid time on the left hand side against Katsumi Yusa. The U-22 India international was booked in the first half for pulling back the Japanese player and was lucky not to be warned again as he struggled to keep pace with the former ONGC winger.

“Nishu did a very good job today. He is a young player like Daniel and Udanta. It is important that he is played in such tough games for them to learn. He had a yellow card in the first half so the second half was difficult for him. He could not play with the same freedom so we decided to bring him off. But he is improving and shown that he can be an important player for the team,” commented Roca.

The home side were handed a huge opportunity when Bagan left back Subhashish Bose was sent off for allegedly protesting against the referee. Roca’s men were unable to utilise this advantage to take home the 3 points.

“We tried everything. We played 3 at the back with 2 wingers, 2 midfielders with Sunil playing behind the front 2. When the other team decides to put two lines of 4 against you, it becomes very difficult. We used our new signing Jugovic in this game. He was not yet at full fitness and it was unfortunate that he had to be brought in these sort of situations in the game. But I’m sure that he will put in a performance in the future that makes him very important for us,” said Roca.

Roca took time to call out the performance of his custodian Arindam Bhattacharya, who was also adjudged the man of the match.

“Yes he has not conceded any goals in the last 2 games. The one which we conceded last was an own goal in Chennai so technically he hasn’t let in a goal. I have 3 goalkeepers in the squad and I am happy with all of them. They are working really hard and are important players in the team,” opined Roca.

Roca refused to get drawn into criticism towards the match officials and re-emphasized the need for the players and management to carry on with their jobs as professionals and called upon the referees to do the same.

The coach was quick to douse any criticism levied on midfield maestro Eugeneson Lyngdoh, whose performances have dipped way below their usual levels this season.

“Eugene is a quality player. But he has not been able to reach the same level of performance as he had in the start of the season. We are trying very hard to get him to those levels again. He can be a very important player for the team. I think he can benefit from the break with the national team. But it is also a question of mentality as we have 28 players in the squad, each of them is fighting for a place in the team. So I expect Eugene to do the same and improve,” signed off Roca.

Published: Sun Mar 12, 2017 12:30 PM IST

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