ISL 2018-19: 'We Have Intelligent Players who Make the Right Decisions' - Bengaluru FC Coach Carles Cuadrat
Following Bengaluru FC's 2-1 win over Pune City in the Indian Super League fixture at the Kanteerava Stadium on Friday night, Blues coach Carles Cuadrat praised his players, especially the make-shift defence. The win sees them extend their lead at the top to five points with a game in hand.
Although the scoreline suggests a narrow win, Bengaluru had a number of chances to score. However, Cuadrat wasn't too bothered b the chances that went abegging after having sealed all three points.
"I'm happy that we created chances," Cuadrat said despite the Blues scoring only two goals after having nine shots on target. "When the ball hits the post... We were doing a good job and it's a question of inches.
"I had no problem with that. I think the boys worked well because it was a very difficult game when the other team is trying to defend with a lot of people together. We tried to play in the wings to create chances.
"Today there weren't a lot of goals. But maybe with the same chances, we may score four or five goals on another day."
On Bengaluru's long-range shooting
A number of those shots came from outside the box. It was clear that the home side was looking to test Pune City goalkeeper Kamaljit Singh from distance and Cuadrat explained the reasoning behind that.
"We have intelligent players and they did that because they saw that Pune City were quite compact in the box. They had space [in midfield] and the quality to try those shots.
"We have players like Xisco [Hernandez], Erik [Paartalu], Nishu [Kumar] who can shoot so they all tried and that's good. Because then the other team is obliged to take a decision. It forces them to move out [of the box] and when they do that you can get the ball inside.
"That's what happened on the last goal. It was a typical situation where the other team was moving out and we put the ball over the defence where it arrived for Khabra who could make the cross. I have to say that they were smart on the pitch to take the right decisions."
On Dimas Delgado's performance
"He's a very important player. You can see in every game that he gives others a lesson on how to play football - moments where you have to be fast and moments where you have to be calm with the ball."
"We're very happy to have him in the team. We lost him for the final last season (Dimas was injured) and we lost the game. We're very happy with his work.
On Rahul Bheke's adaptability
In the absence of Spanish centre-back Albert Serran who missed the game due to injury, Cuadrat had to do some shuffling at the back. Rahul Bheke moved to central defence while Harmanjot Khabra moved from midfield to right-back.
"Our defence is doing a very good job," Cuadrat explained. "They're pushing the team up and we play with the offside trap.
"Alberto [Serran] wasn't in the team and Bheke is a very intelligent player who knows how to make the right decisions. We didn't suffer a lot because Pune are a quality team with players who can put balls in behind the defence. Apart from one or two balls, we controlled the game."
"Bheke is very good technically so he can play on the left, right or even the middle. We're very happy with him."