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They are a good side that loves scoring but we back ourselves: Albert Roca

Bengaluru, Nov 2: Bengaluru FC scripted history on October 19 at the Sree Kanteerava Stadium, when they defeated defending AFC Cup champions and Malaysian giants Johor Darul Ta'zim 3-1 to reach the final of the AFC Cup.

The JSW owned side became the first Indian club to achieve such a feat surpassing the deeds of Dempo SC (2008) and Kingfisher East Bengal (2013).

Albert Roca (left) (Image courtesy: Bengaluru FC Twitter handle)

'The Blues' take on Iraq's Al-Quwa Al-Jawiya club on November 5 Stadium at Doha with an eye on the coveted cup.

Ahead of this historic clash, Bengaluru FC manager Albert Roca spoke to i-league.org about the club's journey so far and their goals for the historic final.

On creating history, the Spaniard said: "It sure feels nice to be part of Indian Football history despite having very little time with the Team.

"It's also a testament to how hard the boys and the staff have worked to bring the Club to this moment.

"But there is so much more to achieve and we cannot afford to be satisfied with this. We have one more chance to do something special and that's what we have been focusing on."

Roca stressed on the role of Sunil Chhetri and how the Indian star has led the team. He said: "We play as a Team and Sunil is the Captain of that Team.

"It's going to take everyone to chip in with their best performances if we are to give ourselves a chance in the final.

"Whether Sunil scores or not, he's always working hard. He didn't score in the quarterfinal and the first leg of the semis but Vineeth and Eugene came up with goals.

"We won't be depending on Sunil but I know he will lead the team just as he has been all these years."

Al-Quwa Al-Jawiya have scored 26 goals so far in the tournament thanks to star striker Hammadi Ahmed who has netted 15 goals.

When asked about his tactics to stop Hammadi, Roca said: "I've said more than a few times that we play to our strengths.

"We have got to be brave and I don't see how going defensive translates to being brave. Yes, they are a good side that loves scoring but we back ourselves.

"I spend time with the technical staff on the opponents and we're doing as much homework as we can."

Star custodian Amrinder Singh has been ruled out of the game due to double booking in the semi-final.

The Bengaluru boss did not hesitate to express his disappointment over missing Amrinder but at the same time showed his trust over second keeper Lalthuammawia Ralte.

Roca added: "It's a shame that he's missing out but we back Ralte equally. He's been really professional at training and has done enough for us to believe that he will turn up with the goods on the day.

"All the boys are working hard at training, knocking on the door to earn a place in the starting XI and that helps."

Finally, when asked about if he would invite long time friend Xavi Hernandez to watch the game, Roca said: "I haven't spoken to him as yet. But if he is around, I'd surely invite him to the game."

OneIndia News

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Story first published: Wednesday, November 2, 2016, 12:04 [IST]
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