The defending champions are on an unbeaten steak of six games this season.

Bengaluru FC coach Carles Cuadrat along with Spanish defender Albert Serran spoke to the press ahead of their match against Odisha FC. Bengaluru FC were stopped in their tracks by a resilient 10-man Hyderabad FC, who managed to pull back an equalizer in stoppage time to end the Blues’ winning run. They now travel to Pune to face sixth-placed Odisha FC.

The coach was asked about what he expects from the match after a run of two wins and four draws in the league. “I’m expecting a tough match. This is that kind of competition in which every game is hard. All the teams know that we’ve lost points on our way to the playoffs and we’re losing chances to enter the playoffs, because it is a short competition and every game is important.”

“If you analyze, we’ve had four draws, but most of the games we were dominating and we could’ve won. But, we were not good enough to earn three points and we have to keep working to change that.”

Previous Game

Reflecting on the last match Carles Cuadrat said,“We keep working during the game to try to get a difference in the scoreline and we’re not looking to defend the one goal we scored. When you arrive to the last moments of the game with a one-goal difference anything can happen. Because it all depends on one action and we saw that in the last game, when they managed to score with just their second shot on goal. I feel there is a lot of things to work on and we have to work on some defensive adjustments.”

“It’s not nice that we keep working in the game to get 2-0, 3-0, but there were some important decisions from the referee that were game-changing decisions. If you get a penalty that was very clear and you go 2-0 up in the game, it is very difficult for the opposition to get back.”

“If there was a second red card which was also very clear and opposition plays with nine men for 30 minutes, you know that you are going to win the game. Sometimes referees, I don’t know why, they try protecting the teams that are losing at the moment. But, it makes no sense because then we are playing very clearly with a disadvantage, because it’s allowed to kick players when you’re losing. If the referee isn’t protecting the players, the players have to protect themselves.”

“I have nothing against the Hyderabad coach or players, it’s not about accusations, it’s just that we should have the same rules and the game has to be managed with the same conditions, solely for improvement of football in India and to protect the players. There were three actions last game, against Udanta (Singh), Raphael (Augusto) and Gurpreet (Singh Sandhu).”

“If we miss Udanta or Gurpreet with a long-time injury, then the country’s is going to cry because they are two important players for the national team. We have to protect these players and the only way to protect them is by referee’s action and the league’s action on punishments,” Carles Cuadrat concluded.

Speaking about Odisha FC head coach Josep Gombau, who also hails from Spain and has formerly coached the youth teams of Barcelona, Carles Cuadrat said, “He is hard-working, is doing good things for football in India and loves to play attacking football with possession. I think in the next game, they are going to fight with us for possession and it will be an interesting game.”

Albert Serran shared his thoughts on the incidents that took place in their previous game against Hyderabad FC. “There is a difference between a tackle and aggression, the last game we saw aggression. A tackle could be yellow or red, but an aggression is a straight red.”

The Spaniard was quizzed about his opponents and their style of play, he said, “Odisha FC move the ball one side to the other and try to take advantage of their foreigners in attack. We have to try and set a plan against that. We have done well defensively, conceding just one goal from open play and stopped some of the best players in the league from scoring.”

“All the games until now, we have dominated the crucial aspects of the game, we haven’t conceded from set-pieces, we have scored from them. We are with the points that we deserve. We would like to have more points because we have been doing a lot of work, but football is fair and in the end we have what we deserve,” Cuadrat concluded.