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ISL 2017: Chennaiyin need to learn to respect opponents, says Bengaluru coach Roca

Bengaluru FC coach Albert Roca was not a happy man after losing to Chennaiyin (Image: ISL)
Bengaluru FC coach Albert Roca was not a happy man after losing to Chennaiyin (Image: ISL)
Rohith Nair
FEATURED COLUMNIST
Modified 18 Dec 2017, 00:08 IST
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Following a feisty south Indian derby in the ISL where Chennaiyin came away from Bengaluru with a 2-1 win at the Kanteerava Stadium on Sunday, the game descended into chaos after the full-time whistle as both teams squared up in the centre circle.

There were a few confrontations as both dugouts emptied out in seconds in a bid to separate the squabbling players and fingers were pointed at both parties. And Bengaluru FC coach Albert Roca singled out the behaviour of the Chennaiyin players who he thought were disrespectful.

"Sometimes we need to relax a little bit," said Roca. "Everybody wants to win and it's a shame [what happened].

"I understand that if there isn't a [good] attitude at the end it can explode. Mailson Alves and [Gregory] Nelson have to know that and they did not respect the opponent and that's a shame.

"Win or lose, we always have the same attitude," he continued. "It's not nice at home when you lose and someone comes and laughs in your face. It's for him also to learn that this is a game and sometimes they can also lose. Players must learn that attitude."

Roca wary of criticising referee

A couple of decisions did not go Bengaluru's way - especially a foul on Chhetri just outside the box - and the referee had even been surrounded on many occasions over debatable decisions going the other way.

When asked about the referee's decisions, Roca scoffed and said he didn't want to get in trouble by criticising the officials.

"I also need to be relaxed or we might have to talk about me," he said. "Referees have to do their best and you [journalists] have to talk about that. As a coach, I can't understand some of the situations."

Bengaluru FC Chennaiyin referee
Bengaluru FC were upset with the referee's decisions (Image: ISL)
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"It's better for me not to talk about it or say something that isn't correct. They are also human beings and they can make errors. But that's something for you to express and talk about."

Also read: Chennaiyin captain Sereno blames Bengaluru's Chhetri for post-match scuffle

Roca refuses to blame squad rotation for the loss

The Spanish coach had made a number of changes to the starting lineup with Erik Paartalu and Juan Antonio benched so he could play more foreigners in midfield and attack.

"We had an important game in Pune [three days ago] and I have to manage my squad and try to use the players that I think are in better shape. 

"We also have another game in four days and we have to see what is better for the next game and make sure they are conditioned."

Bengaluru were not calm enough to get back in the game: Roca

Chennai had scored as early as the fifth minute when Jeje Lalpekhlua latched on to a rebound off a player to give the visitors the lead. It was a mistake that Roca lamented and it set the tone for the rest of the game as Chennai defended the lead before scoring the winner in the 88th minute after Sunil Chhetri had equalised moments earlier.

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"We made mistake in the beginning and in the end," Roca explained. "Sometimes we didn't have the calm required to get back in the game. We had two good opportunities in the first half and one in the first minute of the second half where we could have come back and put them in trouble.

"We haven't produced what we wanted. It's a shame. We deserved to score that goal (Chhetri's equaliser) but we forgot we had to be careful without John [Johnson] in set pieces." Johnson had been substituted in the 73rd minute and his absence saw Dhanpal Ganesh head in the winner from a free-kick.

"We've lost the game and three points. We need to look back and see where we made errors. Thanks to the fans who were supporting us even in the bad moments and hopefully next time we'll win for them."

Published 17 Dec 2017, 21:54 IST
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