Bengaluru FC will look to bag their first win of the season when they take on rivals from the south, Chennaiyin FC in what will be an away game for the Blues at the GMC Stadium, in Bambolim, on Friday. The fixture has always served up an engaging contest with more than just three points to fight for and coach Carles Cuadrat said his side would be leaving it all on the pitch for the win.
“Chennaiyin FC have always been one of our big opponents over the years and there is a good rivalry between the teams. Unfortunately, the game will be without our fans and we will not be receiving any help from the stands. But the boys will be giving everything because we want to take all three points,” said Cuadrat.
Chennaiyin, who staged an inspired comeback in the second half of last season only to go down to ATK in the final, have had to deal with some key departures, most notably Owen Coyle who was responsible for their change in fortunes. Hungarian coach Csaba Laszlo holds the reins at Chennaiyin now and has brought along with him a few new faces.
The hosts have roped in strikers Esmael Goncalves and Jakub Sylvestr, along with signing Fatkhullo Fatkhulloev and Memo Moura in what is an already strong midfield comprising Rafael Crivellaro, Anirudh Thapa and Lallianzuala Chhangte.
“Chennaiyin FC have made good signings and they will be a tough opponent who will keep asking us questions through the 90 minutes of the game. Their Indian players have also improved a lot in recent years and they are showing it in every game,” said Cuadrat.
On his own side’s showing in two games, Cuadrat said he was pleased with the discipline the Blues showed for most parts across both games but admitted his side will have to do better in the attacking third.
“We know that we have to improve at the other end of the pitch, the way we arrive in the other box. The players know that and have been working hard. We have been practising different situations. What has been happening is that we are not winning a lot of duels in attack. The final pass to create the chance is missing. We know that and we are working to rectify that. The team is showing consistency, they know how we want to play but we haven't hit our best form to make things count,” said Cuadrat.
The Spaniard said he had an injury-free squad to choose from and even provided an update on influential midfielder Dimas Delgado who came on in the second half of both of the Blues’ opening games.
“Dimas is getting better. The best news we have right now is that we have no injuries. Injuries are something all teams will try to avoid in a season like this. That's what we have been doing, especially with Dimas. He was close to having an injury in pre-season and we are managing him well, even during training sessions, to make sure he is ready to play as many minutes as possible in the games. I hope he's going to play more minutes against Chennaiyin FC than he did in the first two games.”
Bengaluru FC Media Release