The Spaniard emphasized the need for his team to control their emotions as they play the final at home.
Bengaluru FC go up against Chennaiyin FC in the grand finale of Hero Indian Super League (ISL) 2017-18 at the Sree Kanteerava Stadium in Bengaluru on Saturday. The Blues finished as the strongest team in the league phase and brushed aside FC Pune City in the semi-final to earn the opportunity of lifting the Hero ISL trophy in front of their home fans in their debut season.
Addressing the media at the pre-match press conference was their head coach Albert Roca alongside captain Sunil Chhetri. The Bengaluru head coach expressed his delight at having reached the Hero ISL final in their debut campaign. “I am very happy for the club and the city to be in the final,” Roca stated. “For sure, it’s amazing. From the beginning we knew how difficult it would be to be here.”
“We had to play the AFC Cup as well, so I tried to prepare and develop a system to succeed. There is one more step to go now. But right now I am very happy for the players, staff and of course the fans who have supported us throughout the season.”
The Spaniard insisted that the shape of his team has been one of the main reasons behind their success. “It is important to keep the shape that we have shown throughout the season (tomorrow),” Roca said. “We have always been up there and we finished the season in first position. So, it is important to keep doing (the same). We have never lost concentration and that is why we are where we are.”
Roca also lauded his players for adapting to Bengaluru’s side of play, which in turn got them so many results. “We have the players who can do the job that is required to get results in football,” he remarked. “The beginning of the season was not easy. But since then, a lot of players have changed the mentality. We have a good captain, and we have so many experienced players to show the other players how to be in line. This is the most important thing; to try and adapt quickly to how it suits the purpose of the team.”
When asked for his thoughts on the final against a formidable Chennaiyin side, the 55-year-old said: “For sure, the game will be a hard one. A small thing can make a difference. It is the final and we have to control of our emotions. We know it will be a very difficult game tomorrow, and we hope to score some goals and win.”
Skipper Chhetri also echoed Roca’s thoughts having led Bengaluru to the final in their first ever attempt. ”There was a lot of talk when we joined the Hero ISL; how we’ll play in our debut season,” the 33-year-old said. “There were only a few players who had previously played in the Hero ISL. And we have done really well to come to a new league and perform so well. It was not easy.”
I look back and feel really happy about all that we have achieved throughout the season. And that makes tomorrow’s match that much more important. Of all the important matches we have played, this one is right up there.”