Kolkata: Bengaluru FC may be one of the two new teams in the fourth edition of the Indian Super League, but it has not hampered their level of consistency. ‘The Blues’ currently lie on top of the table with six points from two matches and face FC Goa in their first away match at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in Margao on Thursday. Coach Albert Roca has however warned his boys from getting carried away with the momentum and instad focus on the job at hand.
Both Roca and Sergio Lobera of FC Goa have been associated with Barcelona in the past and follow the same football philosophy. The ‘Gaurs’ may have lost their last match against Mumbai City FC, but the Bengaluru gaffer is impressed with their style of play and consideres them to be their main threat, even a virtual semi-finalists.
“For sure it is going to be a tough game. Goa has a Catalan coach who has been on the same team as me – FC Barcelona. We have similar philosophies: maintain possession, press high. They have shown that in their first two games. For me, they have been one of the most impressive teams in the Hero ISL even though they lost their last match. They were really unlucky,” said the Spanish Roca.
“They (Goa) are one of my favourites to make it to the semi-finals,” he added.
It won’t however be an easy ride for the ISL newbies who will have to play three away games on the trot but the experience of having played earlier in the Indian conditions will help them feels Roca.
“We have to get used to playing 3 away games, it’s going to be tough, we’ll try to get points from all the games. Climate affects the game a little, the humidity here is much more here than in Bengaluru,” Roca said ahead of the match.
The former I-League champions will however continue to miss former Barcelona B player Dimas Delgado while John Johnson also has a little niggle and fights with time to feature in the match. “Mmawia (Lalthuammawia Ralte), and Joyner (Lourenco) still have injuries while Dimas Delgado is getting better but for tomorrow he is not ready yet, this morning we had a little problem with John (John Johnson) we’re still waiting for his medical report,” added the former Barcelona assistant.
Goa were unfortunate to lose against Mumbai and a few referee decisions going their way, could have well sealed a great win for them. But the home side will have to be in top form to beat Bengaluru and Lobera expects his boys to overcome the challenge in their first home match.
“Bengaluru knows how we play and we know how they play. But what is important to me is that we need to maintain our ideas. We need to focus on our strategies and ensure we execute what we plan to do. Bengaluru FC are a strong team at this point in time. They have shown they are the team with the best form,” said Lobera.
“For us, it will be important to get the right result against the team that has been most superior so far,” the Spaniard added in a hopeful tone.