Bhubaneswar, Mar 31 (PTI) Albert Roca’s Bengaluru FC will look to build on their reputation when they begin their Super Cup campaign with a pre-quarter clash against Gokulam Kerala FC, here tomorrow. Also Read - I-League Likely to be Postponed to December End in Wake of Coronavirus Pandemic
The Blues are no strangers to the Kalinga Stadium, having claimed a 2-0 win against Jamshedpur FC in an ISL encounter but Roca feels that past results in the city will count for little heading into the tournament. Also Read - Ahead of I-League Qualifiers, Two Footballers Test Positive For Coronavirus
It’s true that we have played in Odisha before and come away with some good results and a trophy (Federation Cup, 2017) but tomorrow is the beginning of a new tournament against a team we have never played competitively. We will have to be at our best if we are to progress through to the next round, said Roca. Also Read - Football | All I-League Matches to be Held in Kolkata Under Strict Health And Safety Protocols: AIFF
Bengaluru met Gokulam Kerala FC twice in closed doors pre-season friendlies at the club’s training facility in Bellary in 2017 and Roca feels Sunday’s opposition have improved massively since.
The Bino George-coached side rode on a Henry Kisekka brace in a 2-0 win over NorthEast United to enter the pre-quarters of the Super Cup earlier in March.
We know how good Gokulam are because we faced them twice in pre-season and we saw the game against NorthEast United.
They have improved a lot since then and I have been watching them closely in the I-League as well. They got some good results towards the end of the League campaign against Mohun Bagan and East Bengal so we will have to be wary of their strengths, the Spaniard said.
The Blues fly out to Guwahati for their AFC Cup Group E clash against Aizawl FC on Thursday, and Roca stressed the importance of squad depth ahead of a hectic month of fixtures.
The closing stages of the ISL were tough because many of my players played those games when they weren’t in their best shape. We’re still missing (Harmanjot) Khabra and Dimas (Delgado), who are recovering from their injuries. With the AFC Cup games in between, I will have to rotate my squad and use as many players as I can.
This is published unedited from the PTI feed.