ISL 2018-19: “It will be a very tough game against ATK because they will need the points,” says Carles Cuadrat
Two draws in a row haven't displaced BFC off the pinnacle, but the Blues would want to get back to winning ways. Atletico de Kolkata are presently on an unbeaten run of five games that stretches back to the date when they previously lost to tomorrow's opponents in the reverse fixture.
As far as the team news is concerned for the home side, they will be without a suspended Harmanjot Khabra. Miku meanwhile, remains a long-term casualty.
Carles Cuadrat addressed the media ahead of the game and acknowledged that his side gave their 100% to try and score a goal against 10-man Mumbai City FC. When asked if he should have tinkered with the line-up and rotated the squad, he claimed:
"No, no. We tried everything to score the second goal, but sometimes we forget that we are playing against a team that also has a game plan and good players. We tried our best and got good chances too. At the end, one point wasn't bad, we have to respect the other team and their quality."
He lifted the lid on his star player Sunil Chhetri's form. The forward hasn't scored since the 22nd of November and in Miku's absence, hasn't really taken the goal-scoring burden on his shoulders. Cuadrat pronounced:
"Udanta was not scoring before and now he's scoring, it is the way it is. Chhetri scored in the first few games and he's not scoring now. It is difficult to manage without one of the top offensive players (Miku) but we have to manage it. If NorthEast missed Ogbeche or Goa were without Corominas, they would find it tough."
The Spanish mastermind is expected a tough game against an ATK side that has significantly improved since these two sides last met. When asked about what kind of a game he is expecting, Cuadrat opined:
"Very tough game because they will need the points. They want to be in the playoffs and for them, victory is very important. They have a very tough defensive line and they play with a two-man forward line. They have an inspiration in attack from [Manuel] Lanzarote."
Steve Coppell too, accepts the opposition's prowess. He said:
"Tough game, it's an obvious answer and it is the right answer. BFC have not been beaten this season and that's not an accident - that is because they are a very strong team; defensively tough to get at and in the attacking sense, they have a lot of dangerous players."
His side have been unbeaten since October 31, but Coppell doesn't see any drastic change in his team's approach. The 63-year-old added:
"Nothing has changed, you know. Over the course of the season I think, the more time you spend with players, the more time you have to improve - not only individual skills but collective units within the team as well. Players get to know what each other want and I have more time as a coach to implement strategy."
The match is scheduled at 19:30 hours IST.