Super Cup 2018: Albert Roca - 'Bengaluru FC are one of the favourites for the tournament'

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ISL
The Blues' coach spelt out his team's aim to win the tournament and finish their domestic season on a high...

Bengaluru FC coach Albert Roca is looking forward to winning the Super Cup which gets underway on Saturday. The Spanish coach is confident of starting on the right note against I-League side Gokulam Kerala in the pre-quarterfinals on Sunday. 

"It is always difficult after a final and the break that we have had after it to get back and renew our hope of winning a title," Roca told reporters ahead of Sunday's game. "But it is an opportunity to compete and win.

"Last year, we won the Federation Cup after the I-League season. But we are looking to do it again. My team is one of the favourites for this tournament I guess." 

Roca went on to rue the fact that Bengaluru were thwarted in the Indian Super League (ISL) final by Chennaiyin FC despite dominating the league phase. He went on to state that his team would bring that mentality into this game as well. 

"We put a lot of energy in ISL and had a good season. It was a shame not to win the title. But we had shown that we were the strongest team over the season.

"We want to show that tomorrow as well. But it will be tough to get back that competitiveness in our minds. Of course, everybody is thinking about what they are going to do for the next year and that can affect the team a little bit." 

Roca went on to assess that all teams had a chance to win the knockout tournament and had words of praise for their opponents Gokulam Kerala.

"We had played against Minerva Punjab in the pre-season and they were good. I think they deserved to win the I-League title. All the teams have chances of winning the tournament.

"We did see the last game Gokulam played (against North-East United). It will be a tough game and let's see. It is just one game and if after 10 minutes, you are not there, it could be a difficult game. That is football. Let's try to be positive and try to do our best."

The former Barcelona coach went on to state that while the rules in the ISL and I-League are almost similar, the nature of pitches in the I-League left a lot to be desired and was one of the reasons why his team struggled last season before they opted to join the ISL. 

"The rules in I-League are similar to the ISL to an extent because there are five foreigners in the starting XI. The pitches are not so good in the I-League so it might affect the playing style of many teams in the ISL.

"Most other coaches in the I-League are Indian. In ISL, all other coaches are foreign and the philosophy is very different. We get those kinds of pitches where we can play according to our style. Last year, we suffered a lot in I-league. This year, we could build out from the back and that made it a bit easier." 

He also revealed that Harmanjot Khabra is not fit for the game while his centre-backs John Johnson and Juanan are doubtful for the tie. 

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