ISL 2018-19: Carles Cuadrat Explains Why Xisco Hernandez Ran Down Tunnel Before Substitution
The referee had not sent anyone off but Xisco Hernandez suddenly sprinted off the pitch and made a beeline for the tunnel and headed into the dressing room. As the Blues continued playing with 10 men, coach Carles Cuadrat quickly made a substitution and brought on new signing Chencho Gyeltshen when the ball went out of play.
By the time the Bhutanese forward had made his ISL bow, Hernandez was seen sprinting back out of the tunnel when Cuadrat pointed at the bench. His night was over, even though he had provided the assist for Miku's goal in the first half with a delightful through ball.
The Spaniard was visibly upset and even kicked a water bottle in frustration as the staff tried to calm him down. From what it looked like, the 29-year-old needed to use the bathroom in the middle of the game.
When asked about the incident at the post-match press conference, Cuadrat had a good laugh about it.
"Xisco had a... 'physiological problem'," he explained amidst laughter from the press. "We were winning 1-0 but we were down to 10 players on the pitch!
"He was doing a good job and that's why he wanted to keep playing. But we were thinking Chencho could give us some energy in the last 15 minutes of the game. In the end, we won the game so everything that happened was for the good of the team."
Cuadrat praises Blues midfield performance against Chennaiyin
Cuadrat had a small selection headache when Dimas Delgado was declared unfit to play the game and he had to move personnel around, specifically to fill the void in midfield.
Harmanjot Khabra, who played last season as a full-back, was deployed in midfield alongside Erik Paartalu and the duo did a good job keeping Chennaiyin's midfield in check, especially by trying to negate Raphael Augusto's impact.
"Both of them did a very good job," Cuadrat said. "We lost Dimas [Delgado] to injury and we had to compensate and we are very happy with the work they did.
"Khabra is an experimental player because we haven't played him much before in that position. Because of the changes in the squad, we thought maybe we could use him in both defence and midfield. For him, it was the first test and it was a very good result for him."