Cuadrat to stick with Roca's philosophy

Bengaluru FC goalkeeper Gurpreet Singh Sandhu, coach Carles Cuadrat and striker Dimas Delgado at the launch of 5th edition of the Indian Super League in Bengaluru on Thursday. DH photo/ Janardhan B K.

One of the major factors behind Bengaluru FC's impressive campaign in their debut Indian Super League season last year was their eye-catching possession-based football.

They dominated all comers by finishing the league commitments eight points ahead of nearest rivals Chennaiyin FC before falling in the final hurdle to the tenacious neighbours. Many of the squad members, who were raised playing a direct style by Ashley Westwood, easily adapted to Albert Roca's methods. From fans to players, everyone loved BFC's passing game.

However, everyone was taken aback when Roca decided to part ways in May. BFC, in a bid to continue with Roca's philosophy, handed over the reins to his assistant Carles Cuadrat in June. Cuadrat, speaking to the media on Thursday, said his main focus would be to ensure the club continues to play the same brand of possession football.

"I'm really happy the club had the confidence in me and appointed me. After two years of being an assistant to Roca, I've now got an opportunity to start. I know a lot of players in the team, so it's not very difficult to start. The emphasis this season will be the same -- play possession football. We love to have the ball and that will be our intention. We want to put up a show every game. We want to play an attacking brand of football," said Cuadrat.

The Spaniard said continuing in Roca's footsteps is not hard at all. "The main thing is that his philosophy is my philosophy -- have no doubts about that. I've been working with him for the last 10 years and we believe in the same kind of football. Also, if you have the same kind of players, the logical thing would be to continue with the same philosophy. This is what we've been striving for the last few years and we believe in playing that kind of a game."

Cuadrat felt another big challenge staring at BFC, who've won a title every season since their inception in 2013, is to be highly competitive as rivals push them hard. "We should not be happy winning just one trophy. The goal should be to win as many trophies as possible. For that, we need to enter as many finals as possible. So the target is to enter the final of every tournament we play. That gives us more chances of winning titles."

This season BFC will not have any Asian commitments after bowing out to Altyn Asyr in the AFC Cup inter-zone semifinal. While that will help them channel all their energy on ISL, Cuadrat thought otherwise. "Don't really think no Asian commitments makes our job easier. With Asia we had a chance to rotate our squad. It ensured all the players were on their toes as there were strong competitions for places. The players were also busy right throughout. Returning to Asia next season is another goal of ours."

Cuadrat, an expert at devising set-piece strategies, had a harrowing time last December when he had to fly back home owing to serious health concerns. He even snapped ties with BFC momentarily. Feeling healthier now, the 49-year-old said even during those hard times, he never lost touch with BFC. 

"I feel very good. I had no choice but to do my recovery in Barcelona if I wanted to get as fit as soon as possible. I have a great relationship with Albert and the club. So from home I was watching the games and tried helping them in whatever ways possible."

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Cuadrat to stick with Roca's philosophy

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