Jagrick Dey, Bhuvneshwar: Bengaluru FC Coach Albert Roca hails his semi final opposition Mohun Bagan as the team “with a lot of character.”
With India captain Sunil Chhetri in prolific form, on paper the ‘Blues’ are way ahead of the green and maroon brigade but Shankarlal Chakraborty coached Mohun Bagan on their day can be a handful for any opposition.
Coach Roca wants to guard his men against complacency and is not exactly fond of the “favourites” tag.
“We are not the favourites in this match. All the favourites have bowed out so far. So I don’t want to be labelled as the favourite,” Roca said at the pre-match press conference.
“Mohun Bagan are a more difficult team than what we have faced so far in this tournament.
“They did well in both the matches and are one of the most historical teams in Indian Football with a lot of history on their side,” he added.
While BFC played in the top-tier ISL, Mohun Bagan continued to play in the I-League, where they finished third behind Minerva and Neroca FC.
“A lot has changed in both the teams this season. We will try to be better. But having said that it is not easy. It is a challenge for us to win tomorrow,” he added.
The Spanish coach also made a special mention of Chhetri.
Sunil is on a mission. The older he is getting, the better he is becoming day by day. That’s the way one should be. He is the national team captain and is one of the leaders of the team. He always focusses on what he wants and reflects a lot of passion. I am happy for him, and to have Sunil my team.”
Bengaluru missed the services of Rahul Bheke in the match.
“He is injured and will miss out,” Roca said, adding: “The difference among the teams is too less. If you are able to capitalise on the first or the second chance which you get, the scenario will change then and there. Professionally, we have a job to do on the field.”