Chhetri: We want to win the ISL

Bengaluru FC is one of two new entrants in the Indian Super League but this is a team, in its four years of existence, that has experienced unprecedented success. And captain Sunil Chhetri stresses that he and his team have only one goal in mind...

"The team has shaped up really well to be very honest and I hope we can do justice to the squad we have."   -  K. Murali Kumar

Question: You have spoken previously of the need for one regular league season. You must be pleased, especially because you’re playing for BFC in the ISL...

Answer: One complete season playing one league is always going to have so many good things about it. I signed a three-year extension with BFC because this is where my heart is and I’m thrilled I will be part of the squad when the club starts a new chapter in its history with the ISL.

What do you make of the squad?

The draft meant that we had an almost blank slate. But the management and coaching staff went in with a plan and have done a commendable job to stitch together this team. A few of the lads have played for the club last season and that helps in a big way, the new ones are eager to make themselves count and the foreign lads come in with so much quality and are fantastic guys off the pitch too. The team has shaped up really well to be very honest and I hope we can do justice to the squad we have.

What is your view on the tournament format? It’s a longer season with more rest days...

Like I mentioned, there will be a lot of positives from a longer league season. The more the recovery time teams have, the fresher they take the pitch the next game and there’s a better chance of it being a clash where the quality of football is better. It’s a win-win for the players, the League and the fans.

Not getting to the AFC Cup final must have been a disappointment. What is your target for the ISL season?

Yes, we were gutted to say the least. I wouldn’t have felt half as bad if we were dominated and beaten. Even with ten men we threw everything at Istiklol and came really close to pulling off a miracle. But that’s football, I guess. We now step into the ISL and like every tournament, we’re looking to win this. Our record over the last four seasons is proof enough of why we back ourselves so much.

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