Hero Super Cup: Spirited NEROCA braces for mighty BFC

Following its last-gasp win in the AFC Cup, Bengaluru FC will be aiming to take the fight to NEROCA FC in the Hero Super Cup quarterfinal on Friday.

"Sunil (Chhetri) is one of the best players now and obviously, we are taking them very seriously," NEROCA FC skipper Lalit Thapa said.   -  AFP Photo

Following its last-gasp win in the AFC Cup, Bengaluru FC will be aiming to take the fight to NEROCA FC in the Hero Super Cup quarterfinal on Friday.

BFC head-coach Albert Roca emphasised the importance of not dropping its intensity at any time. "We can't drop our levels and have to be up there consistently. We always try to win and it's something I try to impart to the players as well."

Asked which tournament is the ISL finalist's priority now, the Spanish coach mentioned, "All competitions are important for us, we can't choose just one. The Super Cup is a knockout competition while the AFC Cup has multiple matches in the group stage."

"We are playing two competitions simultaneously, and to achieve the goals the club wants, makes the situation tough. But we're professionals and positive. The fact that we're playing more competitions, shows we're one of the top teams in the country," he added.

Meanwhile, young defender Subhasish Bose rated NEROCA FC very highly. "They are a very good team. We'll try our best to win the match. Coach is there to plan the strategy and we'll give our everything to execute them on the pitch," he said.

The Blues have set a trend of grabbing late winners, evident from their last AFC Cup outing. On being asked, coach Roca explained, "We are a team that never surrenders. Even if we're winning or trailing, we never give up. That's our philosophy. We keep fighting right till the end, and that's probably why we get goals in the final few minutes of the game."

'Will fight till the end'

On the other hand, NEROCA FC is coming on the back of a terrific win against Kerala Blasters FC but coach Gift Raikhan mentioned that the team was 'lucky' to clinch the win and it has to fight more to stage another win against BFC.

"We were lucky against Kerala Blasters to come back from 2-goal down and winning it in the end. Another challenging match awaits us tomorrow. Bengaluru FC is a very tough side and we respect them a lot."

"We need to keep on fighting. Football is all about giving 100% effort and the performance on the pitch. We are ready for the match", Raikhan mentioned.

Asked whether the Oranges have any strategy against the attacking line-up comprising Miku and Sunil Chhetri, skipper Lalit Thapa said, "They have a good combination and they attack collectively. Sunil is one of the best players now and obviously, we are taking them very seriously. We have to have a meticulous plan to defend them from scoring."

"We have plans for the entire team. We don't need to talk much about that, we just want to give our 100% effort on the pitch."

Coach Gift Raikhan promised a tough fight against Chhetri's men. "We are very motivated and pumped up. It's a lifetime opportunity for the young boys to prove themselves. We're looking to the tournament as a stepping stone to professional football," he said.

"We don't have any control on the result. But we would like to grab this opportunity with both hands", Raikha was quoted as saying in the pre-match presser.

"We can't promise that we'll win. We are only human beings and not  Gods. However, we can promise that even if we concede goals, we'll not drop our shoulders and continue fighting until the end. My boys will sweat blood on the field to garner another win", coach Raikhan signed off.

  Dugout videos