The 2015-16 AFC Cup runners-up Bengaluru FC will head home from Shillong as they prepare themselves for an AFC Cup group stage fixture at the Kanteerava Stadium against Abahani Limited Dhaka on Tuesday evening.
The Blues are leaders of Group E with two wins from as many games with their latest victory coming againstMaldivian side Maziya S&RC which ended in a 0-1 result, couresy goal at death fromJohn Johnson. Albert Roca and company made a laborious visit to Meghalaya over the weekend where they got the better of Singto's young side. Speaking about the tight schedule of fixtures, head coach Roca believes the short gap will cause trouble to the teambut the JSW-owned outfit won't compain.
Further, the Spaniard commented on the roster of the tournament and mentioned that the format doesn't gift any comfort to his side who will be looking to grab the best result on home soil.
''The schedules haven’t made things easy for us (Bengaluru FC)but we’ve never been a team that moans. We’re hoping to handle this situation as well as we can. The new format of the AFC Cup doesn’t allow us the luxury of even one bad game, so we’re going to have to put everything behind us and get the job done,'' voiced Roca.
The 54-year-oldwill not be on the touchline for the tieas he will be serving a one-game suspension for his sending-off in the win over Maziya S&RC, leaving Blues’ assistant coach Carles Cuadrat in charge of things. Accompanying Roca on the absentees' list will bemidfielder Cameron Watson and defender Sandesh Jhingan who have been sidelined on account ofhaving picked two cautions each.
Roca remarked that the absence of the two players would be costly for the I-League defending champions but believes the rest of the squad will cover up for them.
''Cameron (Watson) and Sandesh (Jhingan)are vital players and will be missed, but we have a squad that’s capable of stepping up when the need arises,'' he said.
Also, the gaffer mentionedthat a call on goalkeeper Amrinder Singh’s availability will be a late one. Kerala-born winger CK Vineeth and the young Udanta Singhmay also be left out of the squad as they recover from injuries.