Albert Roca: BFC not a favourite against Mohun Bagan

The Bengaluru FC manager doesn't see his team as a favourite against Mohun Bagan despite a strong domestic season.

Albert Roca expects a tough match for Bengaluru FC against Mohun Bagan.   -  K. Murali Kumar

Mohun Bagan midfielder Cameron Watson is plotting to halt his former side Bengaluru FC in the semifinal of the Super Cup.

"I played with them last year and I will share whatever information I have with my coach and players, which I won't share with you guys," the Aussie told reporters on the sidelines of Monday's training session.

Much has been made of Bengaluru's attacking trio of Miku, Sunil Chhetri, and Udanta Singh leading up to the game. Watson, however, felt there is more to Bengaluru's game than its attackers. "It wouldn't be wise for us to focus on only those three players," said Watson.

Read: Bagan, BFC renew rivalry in last four meet

Bengaluru coach Albert Roca has past experience of facing Mohun Bagan during the 2016-17 I-League season, as well as in the Federation Cup. The Blues pipped the Mariners 2-0 winner in the final in April last year. But under new manager Shankarlal Chakraborty, a new challenge awaits the Spaniard here at the Kalinga Stadium on Tuesday.  

"I would love to have the same luck we had against MB last season. The scenario has changed in a year. It's not easy. The team has proved they are in a good shape. It will be a real challenge," said Roca. 

Bengaluru not favourite

Despite coming into the fixture on the back of a strong domestic season, Roca brushed aside talks of starting as the favourite. "I don't think my team is favourite. All the favourites are losing in Super Cup. I don't want my team to feel superior. Time for us to know how difficult it will be tomorrow (Tuesday). My players know that," said the 55-year-old. 

The former FC Barcelona assistant man observed the change in personnel in Mohun Bagan from last season. "They have new players. I saw the last game against Shillong Lajong; they have good balance. (Sony) Norde was not there but the team has more balance now. It will be more difficult for us to beat them and reach the final."

Praise for Roca's tactics

The Federation Cup final loss still weighs heavily in the mind of Mohun Bagan's coach Shankarlal Chakraborty, who was in the dugout assisting former boss Sanjoy Sen. "I will never forget the Fed Cup final from last year. It was total dominating football from Bengaluru under Roca against us. And we were at the time, the best teams in India. I will never forget that in my life. In that match, he changed formation two-three times," said Chakraborty. 

The former midfielder stressed the importance of being quick in transition against a side like Bengaluru. "I have said from day one that in a knockout tournament, it's all about balancing everything," he said.