Carles Cuadrat calls for more protection of players

Bengaluru FC face Odisha FC on Wednesday evening at the Balewadi Sports Complex in what will be their seventh game of the Indian Super League (ISL) season.

Coach Carles Cuadrat mentioned that Josep Gombau’s team are known to play an attacking brand of football and that he has immense respect for his compatriot.

“Odisha are going to fight against us for possession of the game, and it's going to be an interesting game. Josep Gombau is a hard-working, honest person and a good coach. He loves to play attacking football.  The key difference between Delhi and Odisha is that they have started converting their chances. With Xisco (Hernandez) and Aridane (Santana), they are scoring goals and that is a big difference,” said Cuadrat.

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This season in the ISL, none of the teams have managed to put together a string of positive results. Cuadrat explained that while his team have been dominating in play, they haven’t been able to close out games.

“We are expecting a tough match. All the teams know that we have dropped points. We are losing chances to get to the playoffs. Most of the games we were dominating. We have to finish those games well. We have not been good enough in certain aspects, and we have to work on that.

“We have to make some defensive adjustments. Lot of players are losing the balls when they should not have. That creates pressure. We lose control. Yesterday Kerala Blasters’ left-back made a little mistake and they paid the price. These are little things which make a difference and put you in problem,” he reasoned.

Cuadrat also expressed his disappointment with the refereeing who didn’t acknowledge the fouls commits by Hyderabad FC’s attacking players in the previous match. Marcelinho could have been sent-off for his foul on Raphael Augusto in the second half, a  decision which baffled the Bengaluru FC’s technical staff.

Sunil Chhetri Hyderabad vs Bengaluru
Sunil Chhetri Hyderabad vs Bengaluru

“We've been working hard to add to our lead. We've gone for the second goal every time we have scored the first. When you arrive at the last moments of the game, with only one goal, anything can happen. I must say that there were some game-changing decisions as well. If you get a penalty then it is 2-0. If you get a second card and play with 9 players then it becomes easier for the opponent.

“I don't know why referees try to protect the team that is losing at that moment. Then we are playing at a disadvantage. Are you allowed to kick anyhow when you are losing? I like to have clarity on these things. Then I can also ask my players to kick. If the referee is not protecting the players then the players have to protect themselves. My strikers did zero fouls. But the strikers of Hyderabad made quite a few fouls. Marcelinho two, Bobo one, Robin (Singh) one. It's okay, it's part of the game,” he said with a tinge of sarcasm.

He further mentioned that for the greater good of Indian football, the players have to be protected by the match officials.

“I have a lot of respect for all coaches. I don't carry any flag of Tiki Taka or Joga Bonito. I have a lot of respect for Hyderabad’s (Phil Brown) coach and players.  I have nothing to say about the Hyderabad coach or the way they play. But we should have a semblance and we manage the game equally at all conditions.

“For the improvement of football we have to protect players. There were three harsh incidents. One against Udanta (Singh), one against Gurpreet (Sandhu) and one against Raphael. If we miss Udanta or Gurpreet with a long term injury then the nation will be in problem as they are important players for the national team,” he pointed.

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