AFC Cup 2018: Albert Roca - I have to be careful with my squad

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The Bengaluru FC head coach reserved special praise for the young players in the squad ahead of their AFC Cup match...

Bengaluru FC head coach Albert Roca believes he needs to be careful with his squad ahead of their AFC Cup group game match against Maldivian club New Radiant SC.

Both teams are tied for the top spot in Group E with six points from two games. The Blues will face NEROCA FC in the quarter-final of the Super Cup on April 13, three days after their AFC Cup match. 

"We have an important knockout game in Bhubaneshwar coming up, so it's important to find a balance for tomorrow (Tuesday) and then again, three days later. These are two important games in the space of four days and I have to be careful with my squad. 

"There are a few players who have been playing with pain. Juanan may have to be given a rest because he's nursing an injury and some other players have not been registered," said Roca who is unconcerned about the commitment of the players he is going to choose for the match against New Radiant. 

"I know for a fact that whoever wears the Bengaluru FC blue and goes out to play tomorrow will be giving their 100 percent. That much the fans can be assured of."

Talking about the young players at the club, the Spaniard reserved special praise for Leon Augustine who has already featured for the first tea

Many of our young players are doing well. They're playing in the 2nd Division, which is very important and gives experience. The most important thing for Leon is to be focused, to improve and play good football because it's a very good opportunity that he has ahead of him.

This club has always been about giving importance to youth and I'm happy to give them the opportunity to perform and prove themselves. I am happy that this club has some young players who are playing well in the 2nd Division League. I have five in my squad, who are very good and I'm looking forward to seeing a few more coming through.

Karnataka's Santosh Trophy star thanked the club for their support and said that skipper Sunil Chhetri is someone he looks up to.

"I'm very thankful for the club for letting me represent Karnataka in the Santhosh Trophy because it was a great opportunity for me to prove myself," said Leon Augustine.

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"I joined two years ago and my aim was to play for the first team. Thanks to my coaches, John Kila, Naushad Moosa and now head coach Albert Roca I'm getting that chance and I'm very grateful to them.

"To play alongside the biggest players in Indian football is a blessing. Sunil Chhetri is more than just a teammate, he is a teacher and I learn from him every day."


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