The Blues are without a win in five games in all competitions…

The 53-year old Spaniard was not a happy man after he saw his side drop a crucial 2 points against I-League newbies Minerva Punjab. Captain Sunil Chhetri had put the Blues head just after half time, but Minerva hit back 12 minutes before time thanks to Sandesh Jhingan’s deflection when he attempted to deal with Kamalpreet Singh’s teasing cross.

“We created many chances to get the victory tonight. They hardly had a kick and they got a deflected goal. But football is tough and now the guys are really disappointed,” said Roca at the post match address.

Roca felt that he made the switch from a 4-3-3 to a 4-2-3-1 in the second half to enable his team to push for more chances and thereby the victory.

“We knew that if we pushed more in the second half we could have scored. We were a bit nervous in the second half and these kind of situations happen in football. We have practiced with 3 defenders at the back and with 4. I think we did enough to get the victory today. We have to get the players’ chins up which are down now,” opined Roca.

The former Barcelona assistant coach sidestepped any talk of the title now stating that at this moment that would not be appropriate.

“We have to fight, no doubt about it. Mathematically yes we can win it. But it’s about our mentality and we have to look forward to the next game. We cannot talk about what will happen in the next 5 games. It will be taken game by game,” cautioned the Bengaluru coach.

The gaffer refused to be drawn into talk about his team’s suspect defensive performance in the absence of John Johnson and Juanan.

“I felt that we are missing some key players. But Sandesh and Ranjan did a really good job along with fullbacks Sena and Khabra. I felt that in the first half we were not so comfortable with the ball. But I am very pleased with the team. With due respect we conceded a stupid goal and we had really good chances in the second half especially in the last 10 minutes,” said Roca.

Bengaluru made a tactical switch towards the end of the first half and continued to use in the second when Sunil Chhetri and Eugeneson Lyngdoh swapped positions with the India captain playing more centrally alongside CK Vineeth. Roca recognised the versatility that both players offered to his team.

“We decided to change to this in the last 15 minutes of the first half. Eugeneson is good at a wider position and Sunil has scored from his central positions before. Eugeneson may not be that effective from a wide position, but he is good enough to open up the defence. So from a tactical point of view, we have another option,” signed off Roca.