BFC is under no pressure, says Roca

BFC is under no pressure, says Roca

BFC is under no pressure, says Roca

Despite being thrown into a new league for the second year in a row, Bengaluru FC's head coach ALbert Roca  denied he was under any pressure to deliver the goods in his club's debut season in the Indian Super League.

Having joined the Bengaluru side last year, Roca will take his team into a new league for the second time in as many years after getting first tastes of the I-league last year.  "We are not under pressure but it's a new challenge. We need to be humble as we are new. Players are wary of the competition," said the Spaniard.

"After AFC Cup semifinal we have had lot of injuries but we are ready for ISL. All the teams in ISL are of almost equal strength," he said.

Unlike the previous three season, this year, the ISL is  spread over five months, but Roca still still believes that it resembled a sprint as compared to leagues that last for 8-9 months.

"It's a longer league now, but I am used to leagues lasting 8-9 months. It's like a sprint in athletics, everyone is concerned about it (players' recovery time from injuries)," he remarked.

Defensive mainstay John Johnson, who missed his side's AFC Cup knock-out games  owing to presonal reasons  said his team held a slight edge as it had the chance to blend for a longer period of time.

"ISL will be of a higher standard than I-League with better facilities like playing surface. We have been together longer and it will be to our advantage," said Johnson.

Asked whether he preferred a straight league without play-offs, Roca said he had no complaints. "It's difficult to say. No complaints, the rules are clear. We need to be in the top four. It's important to start well but even more important to finish well to become the champions."

Meanwhile, for one of ISL's famous strikers' Iain Hume, the format  didn't bother as he preferred to look at the Australian A-League and the American Major League Soccer (MLS) as an example for the same.  

"I don't see a problem. MLS has done it 20 years. A-League does it, each to its own. ISL is its own brand, there's no need to follow others," said the Canadian striker who will turn up for  Kerala Blasters.

"Two more teams mean four more games, but the rest and recovery time is better. Over the first three years it was a tournament, now it's turning into a league. I am guessing it will be eight month-long in future with four more teams added over the next couple of years. Then you will become an established league.

"With more teams more Indian players would be playing at this level which again reverts back to progress of Indian football," he stated.



Get a round-up of the day's top stories in your inbox

Check out all newsletters

Get a round-up of the day's top stories in your inbox