Bengaluru FC coach Albert Roca stated that playing East Bengal in their round four fixture is a tad early into the competition. He pointed that playing on an artificial turf at the Barasat Stadium will certainly be a challenge.
“After three wins, we find East Bengal who are one of our rivals in the league. In the last three or four years, East Bengal, Mohun Bagan and ourselves have been fighting for the title. So we will try to do our best to win.
“We have analysed their games and we will try to face them in a better circumstance. Even if we know them, it will be difficult to face them. They play at home and on an artificial turf. Perhaps it is a little bit of an advantage for them are used to play there. We will try to adapt as soon as possible into the game,” he mentioned.
Asked if a win on Sunday will hand a massive advantage to the opposition in the title race, Roca answered in the affirmative.
“It's just the fourth game of the season and this battle comes really early but we have to understand that it's a good advantage for the team who wins,” he said.
The former Saudi Arabia assistant coach believes that the Kolkata outfit have several talented players at their disposal.
“East Bengal are a compact team. They have skillful foreigners. Even if they haven't shown a high performance yet, they have enough quality in their side. We have to pay attention to them,” he opined.
Chekiyot Vineeth has been hit purple patch this season having scored a hat-trick in their last fixture against Mumbai FC.
“Vineeth is a good player. We saw him in the last part of the AFC Cup competition and also in the Indian Super League (ISL). He can score and it is really good to see that an Indian player can do the job in a position that most teams play foreigners. I will not change him if he keeps scoring,” he elucidated.
Ashley Westwood, who was the coach of Bengaluru FC until last season, saw the club do a double over East Bengal in the 2015-16 season.
“I can understand that he (Ashley Westwood) did a good job and I will try to do the same, but there is a good organisation behind the performance which helps the coaches to be in that line. It is the players who are the real stars,” he said.
Harmanjot Khabra has joined Bengaluru FC following a seven year stint at East Bengal. Roca was asked if the details shared by Khabra on his former side would aid the Blues immensely.
“Even if he (Harmanjot Khabra) coaches us a lot of things about East Bengal, it is not enough for us to win that game. It has to be a collective concept that we have to manage all together. We know how difficult it will be for us to win,” he concluded.