BENGALURU FC HAVE parted ways with their head coach today following the team's struggles halfway into the ISL league season.
This afternoon, the club announced that Carles Cuadrat will be leaving his position "by mutual consent" and Naushad Moosa, assistant coach for the first team and head coach reserve squad, will become the new head coach on an interim basis.
In a statement released by Bengaluru FC, Cuadrat said,
"I greatly appreciate the club for giving me the opportunity to be Head Coach. It has been a relationship where I have been treated really well and a club that I will always have fond memories of. I would like to thank the owners and management whose vision has been excellent, players who have always been at my service, the staff that I have worked with and that have stood by my side across five seasons and the fans, who have been tremendous in their support, and without whom we could never have carved out so many beautiful nights at the Kanteerava and away. I wish the club all the luck through the season and beyond. This club and the people associated with it will forever be in my heart.”
Club director Parth Jindal also chimed in,
“I want to express gratitude for everything that Carles has done for this wonderful football club. In the five years he has spent with us, he has been through all the ups and downs we’ve experienced at BFC. He was around when we lost the AFC Cup final and then the ISL final, before leading us to the ISL title on that night in Mumbai FC.”
Carles Cuadrat, who joined the club way back in 2016 as an assistant to then head coach Albert Roca, became the head coach in 2018. With him at the helm, BFC set many records in the ISL 2018-19 season; going unbeaten in 11 matches (ISL record), winning 6 games back to back (ISL record), and becoming the first (and only) ISL team to top the points table as well as win the playoffs.
However, 2019-20 saw a drop in form as the Blues had their first trophyless season. Their performed in AFC Cup was also disappointing as they got knocked out at the preliminary stage itself. And this season, they have struggled to assert their dominance in the ISL. At the moment, they sit 5th at the points table with 12 points from 9 matches after losing 3 domestic league games back to back for the first time in club history.
Cuadrat has been reportedly unhappy with certain changes made to the squad by the management this season. The BFC brass, in turn, have also found the team's performance to be lacking.
With Cuadrat leaving, BFC have changed head coaches in the middle of the league season for the first time in their history.
Naushad Moosa, the new interim head coach, has been with the club since 2017 as assistant coach. As a player, he has played for the Indian national team along with prominent clubs like East Bengal, Mohammedan Sporting, Churchill Brothers, Mahindra United and Air India. He has also coached at Mumbai FC, Air India and Pune FC (Youth) in the past.
Parth Jindal welcomed Moosa to his new role at the club, saying,
“Naushad Moosa has been with the club for four seasons and we are confident he will get the team to play the kind of football that we have based our success on. Meanwhile, our search for a replacement has already begun and we will be bringing in someone who we believe can further the philosophy and style of this club. Our ambition of challenging for titles while developing young talent that goes on to represent the country remains unchanged. We are currently in a good position this season and we back the staff and players to build on it in the coming weeks.”
Moosa will be at the helm when Bengaluru FC renew their rivalry with East Bengal in their next ISL match.