Coach Roca keen to raise the bar

Coach Roca keen to raise the bar
Albert Roca couldn’t have asked for a better start to his Bengaluru FC career — two wins, two draws and just a loss that saw Bengaluru become the first Indian side to reach the final of the AFC Cup. The new head coach had hit the right notes instantly.

But that is a thing of the past now. The New Year is here and so is the new I-league season. And Roca knows that nothing less than helping his side retain the crown will suffice when the season gets underway this weekend. “Just to be better (than the previous seasons),” he said explaining his side’s target for the season on Tuesday.

“I want to see my team achieve a certain level of football. I know it’s not easy and I don't want to say we are this or that because we reached the final of the AFC Cup. If you look at Europe or South America, we are really far from that. I’ve come here with the idea to get to that level. Not in 3-4 months, but to see that we move in that direction.”

Though the Spaniard has been actively involved in leagues across Europe for a long time, it’ll be the first time that Roca will be taking charge of a team in the I-League. And the Spanish tactician believes that the compact nature of the league will throw up new challenges.

“Yes, I am new to this. It’s a new challenge. There are 18 games in a row. No time to think too much whether you lose or win. We’re preparing for the first game and the feedback of the game will give us an idea if we are competitive enough for the title,” he explained.

Having reached the final of the AFC Cup, Bengaluru have set a benchmark for the teams to follow. But what’s the takeaway for someone who was a part of the side in Doha? “I hope it works as a launchpad,” he said.  “I’m sure it was a good experience. Teams in India need such big experiences. If I was in their place, that would form the base for me.”

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