Conceding last-minute goals has been BFC's undoing

Carles Cuadrat. (DH file photo)

With four draws and two wins in six games this season, it can be safely said that defending champions Bengaluru FC have not been at their fluid best. Having scored just six goals, three of which came against a hapless Chennaiyin FC, they have been goal-shy as well. Nevertheless, their defence remains one of the best in the league with just two goals conceded, one of which was a penalty.

However, the time of these goals, which came late in the game against FC Goa and Hyderabad FC, remain a concern.

All these are in the forefront of Carles Cuadrat's mind as his team heads to Pune to take on Odisha FC on Wednesday.

"I'm expecting a tough match again. Most of the games we were dominating but we were not good enough to get the three points so we have to keep working to change that," said Cuadrat on Monday.

"The easy thing is to pay attention to the chances we missed. When you arrive to the last moments of the game with only one goal difference, anything can happen. I think there is also lack of control of emotions at that moment. There is lot of things to work on that," he added.

Meanwhile Odisha, formerly Delhi Dynamos, in the second year of their project under Joseph Gombau have made forward strides. What was last season a naive team which played good football but was let down by its toothless attack, it has added some bite with former BFC man Xisco Hernandez and Aridane Santana who have scored three and four goals respectively between them.

While both coaches have their roots in Barcelona, their style of football are slightly different. Odisha has racked up 53.16 average possession this season while BFC have slightly muddled up their possession game with grit and more attacks on transition to take advantage of the speed at their disposal. This season, they have had more possession than their opponents just twice.

And Cuadrat is not puritanical about the style of play either.

"There is no one way to play the game. There is nothing like, I have the flag of tiki taka or Joga Bonito," said the Spaniard. "In football we don't have to get confused about the style. It's a game that you want to win. You should make the best plan to win the game with the players that you have. Every option is respectful."

And with the refereeing standards hitting yet another low, the coach questioned the character of the men with the whistle.

"There were some important decisions from the referee that are game changing. Sometimes the referees, they try to protect the teams that are losing at the moment. Is it allowed to kick in a (certain) way when you're losing? I would like to have things clear so that I can train my players better. If it's allowed, some kind of kicks, then I have to ask my players to do that. There is also a lack of character in the referees," he remarked.

Centre back Albert Serran echoed the opinion.

"There is a difference when you make a tackle and when you make an aggression. As a player, you can't do anything. You can do the same, but this is not how we like to play. The only one who can stop this is the referee," he stated.

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