Ashley Westwood: Hopefully Robin Singh can become the next Sunil Chhetri

The Englishman was pleased that his side responded in style following a defeat to Rangdajied United in the previous round…

Bengaluru FC dispatched Churchill Brothers 3-0 in their round 20 I-League encounter at the Bangalore Football Stadium on Saturday.

Ashley Westwood highlighted the importance of not conceding a goal and that his side successfully responded to the 3-2 defeat to the then bottom placed Rangdajied United in their last game.

“Three points in the bag and the clean sheet is the most satisfying. We got three goals to extend our lead in the top. 

“The mark of any successful side, in any country in the world is how you react to defeat and we showed tremendous character to bounce back. Even in the loss (Rangdajied United) we showed some good character to come back from 2-0 down and showed that we got some fight,” he said.

The game was deadlocked at 0-0 as the two teams failed to take control of the proceedings in the first half. However the complexion of the match changed as Bengaluru FC scored thrice after the break.

“We needed an injection, needed a spark. Robin Singh was that spark and he showed he can come on an affect the game.

“We raised our game by 10-to-15 percent. I asked for a reaction. I challenged my big players - John Johnson, Curtis (Osano),Sunil (Chhetri), Robin (Singh) and Johnny Menyongar. They were all asked for a reaction at half time and I told them we need something extra and we did it.”

Bengaluru FC had a few decisions not going their way in the first half when a couple of their players were fouled and no free-kick was awarded. Though Westwood chose not to blame referee Santosh Kumar and said, “Referees do the best they can. I will never criticize the referees. It is human nature to make mistakes but I thought he was fine. I thought he had a good game.”

Robin Singh was alleged to have head butted Abdelhamid Alshabana in the 50th minute as the latter went down theatrically. However referee cautioned the two players in question as Singh escaped with a yellow card.

“I don't think he touched him with his head. It was not an Alan Pardew moment. I think it was just a coming together and don't think there was any contact whatsoever, which the referee thought involved a yellow card just for the confrontation,” the 37-year old reasoned.

Westwood reserved special words of praise for Robin Singh and hoped that the Indian international follows in the footsteps of his skipper Sunil Chhetri.

“He’s a young boy. He's 24 years of age. Experience wise he’s been playing many games. Young players make mistakes every now and then in the game. But you must remember why you are in the team and why you get picked. Hopefully he goes on to become the next Sunil Chhetri.”


 How do you stay up with football when on the move? With –your best source for mobile coverage of the beautiful game.