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Chennaiyin v Bengaluru

Carles Cuadrat targets pole position in the ISL

07:57 GMT 07/02/2020
Bengaluru FC Mumbai City ISL
The Bengaluru FC boss wants his side to pick three points as they aim for the top spot in order to clinch the AFC Champions League berth next season…

Bengaluru FC come up against Chennaiyin FC this Sunday in an exciting Indian Super League (ISL) tie. The Blues are looking to seal the top spot in the ISL which guarantees a berth in the AFC Champions League group stage next term.

Coach Carles Cuadrat stated that he can ill afford to chop and change in this part of the season as every point is important in their quest to finish in the first position.

“We cannot afford to rotate against Chennaiyin. We're fighting for a spot in the AFC Champions League and we need to go for the points on Sunday. We can expect an exciting game on Sunday because when you see two teams going for the win, it's bound to be a nice show. I'm sure it will be a tough game,” said Cuadrat.

Raphael Augusto has been injured for the majority of the campaign and will miss the chance to face his former side.

“Raphael is injured, but that's football. Last season we lost Miku, but we managed. Even this season you can see that NorthEast lost (Asamoah) Gyan, Odisha lost Aridane (Santana). It's about managing the situation,” he pointed.

Chennaiyin FC have seen their fortunes change since the appointment of Owen Coyle as they have now won four matches on the trot.

“It's clear that there's a new spirit in the Chennaiyin team since the new coach Owen Coyle came in. There's more creativity in their side, and they are a team that scores a lot of goals and defends well.

“They are in a good dynamic. But as I've said about dynamics before, with every move you're closer to the end of it. When you are scoring every week, there will be one day when you stop scoring and that’s normal,” he reasoned.

Cuadrat mentioned that against Chennaiyin FC a lot would depend on which team scores the first goal.

“When you are in a good dynamic, you have to be on top of the wave. And when you are in a bad dynamic, you have to be mentally strong. It matters a lot which team scores first on Sunday, and we will try to make sure it is us, but I know it won't be easy,” he stated.

Bengaluru FC were in action in the midweek AFC Cup second preliminary round where they edged Bhutan’s Paro FC 1-0 in an away tie.

“The win in Paro means we can take the return leg in a different way. We are making decisions based on each game and we want to take it one step at a time.

“I think (Naorem) Roshan played very well in Paro. He made good decisions and managed the situations very well. He participated in a lot of actions as did Biswa (Kumar Darjee). I wanted to give him a few minutes and he also played well,” said the 51-year-old.

FC Goa chose to part ways with Sergio Lobera earlier this week and Cuadrat was asked to share his thoughts on the same.

“It is the kind of situation that is difficult to understand from the outside. But only the people involved know it. It happened with Barcelona, Valverde was on top and he was sacked. it is internal business, I have no opinion on that. Lobera is a very good professional,” he commented.