AFC CUP 2018: "The loss to Chennaiyin FC in the ISL final had a mental effect on the team" Albert Rocca
Aizawl FC play host to Bengaluru FC in the AFC Cup 2018 Group E game tomorrow. Aizawl FC is the home team but are a few hundred kilometres away from their true home the Rajiv Gandhi Stadium in Aizawl.
Aizawl’s opponent tomorrow is one of South East Asia’s biggest clubs Bengaluru FC, who according to Aizawl’s coach Santosh Kashyap is probably the best club in India at the moment. Even Aizawl’s star midfielder Alfred Jaryan admitted that the game against Bengaluru is a big game and expects his teammates to enjoy the tie, and give in their best.
Bengaluru FC coach Albert Rocca did admit that the loss to Chennaiyin FC in the finals of the ISL had a mental effect on the players and went on add that “It does have an effect we are human beings and after being the better team and leading the competition for so long and then losing it in the final whereas it looked like we deserved the title, it is more difficult to accept(the loss).”
Rocca did mention that the ISL final is past now and they are fully focused on the Super Cup and AFC Cup, as both the tournaments are of uttermost importance to the club.
Speaking about the mental aspect of his players he mentioned that the last minute win against Gokulam Kerala in the Super Cup is a step in the right direction and that will the team get away from the slumber it suffered after the ISL finals.
The Blues from Bengaluru have had a policy of fielding their reserve side in the AFC Cup so far this season, and Rocca mentioned that at the start of the season he was aware that his team had to play three tournaments in the season, so he had to manage accordingly, and as it is not possible for one player to give his hundred percent every day while playing three tournaments, it was his view that some should be rested while others were given a chance to prove themselves. Rocca though didn’t divulge any facts regarding how he Bengaluru might shape up tomorrow and is keeping his cards close to his chest.
Santosh Kashyap the Aizawl FC coach who is a veteran of Indian football having coached teams like ONGC, Air India, Royal Wahingdoh and Mumbai FC said that after taking charge of Aizawl FC he is happy with the progress his side has made and looks to improve on it.
“When I took charge Aizawl were in the relegation spot and we finished the league in 5th position and qualified for the super cup on merit so it was a good progress for the side” was what Kashyap had to say about his tenure at Aizawl FC, he also mentioned that getting good results with a completely new squad is a herculean task.
The Aizawl gaffer also said that the victory against Chennaiyin FC will give his side a much-needed morale boost going into the tie tomorrow as Chennaiyin defeated Bengaluru in the finals of the ISL.
“If we can beat them(Chennaiyin) we can surely beat Bengaluru, but it all depends on how we perform on the pitch tomorrow, that Super Cup match is passed, we need to think about tomorrows game, not the past.” Santosh Kashyap on his chances from tomorrows game, he also claimed that past results seldom matter in football. He did though praise his boys for the way they won the game against Chennaiyin and claimed that they had exceeded his expectations.
“See at the moment in India football the lowest division of football is the 2nd division I league then you have the I League and then there is ISL, so in the Super Cup when we beat the ISL Champions we showed that we are capable of playing in that level, we just need to perform like that constantly.” Santosh Kashyap also voiced his views regarding the level of football that Aizawl is playing at the moment.
He did though voice his concerns about tomorrows game where they would be without the service of striker Lalramhmunmwia who was sent of in the last game, they will also be without Mka and Kimkima who weren’t registered for the AFC Cup group stages.