Carles Cuadrat: ‘Manuel Onwu has the skills to match his ambitions’

Onwu delivered a lacklustre performance in the opening game, but the Bengaluru FC head coach isn’t unduly worried. He throws his weight behind the team’s new striker.

Bengaluru FC stumbled to a 0-0 draw in its opening game of the season.   -  K. Murali Kumar

Poor finishing plagued Bengaluru FC (BFC) in its ISL opening match, against NorthEast United, at the Sree Kanteerava Stadium here a few days ago. Chances were created and wasted, resulting in a goalless draw.

BFC entered the season without the services of ace striker Miku, who recently ended his successful two-year stint with the club. Miku’s replacement, Manuel Onwu, did not have a great debut, and was unable to get a shot on target. Udanta Singh fluffed a regulation chance, while Sunil Chhetri was kept in check.

But these are still early days, much too soon to worry, BFC coach Carles Cuadrat and midfielder Dimas Delgado said. The duo, in a media interaction here on Saturday, threw their weight behind Onwu, describing him as a quality striker. “Miku will be missed by any team; he is a special talent. But we were able to create many chances against North East United without him. In normal circumstances, we would have scored from the clear chances we had. I’m not worried. Sometimes even players like Cristiano Ronaldo misses chances. It surprises you, but it happens in football,” Caudrat said.

BFC | Season Preview

“Onwu did a good job, considering he went up against two experienced foreign defenders (Mislav Komorski and Kai Heerings). This is a new club and team-mates for him, so we have to support him,” Caudrat said.

“Onwu has the hunger to score goals — he has the skills to match his ambitions. We are here to help him,” Delgado said.

‘Great friendship and understanding’

Delgado is happy to partner exciting new signing Raphael Augusto in midfield. “It’s nice to play alongside good players like Augusto, because they know their role and how to play. Augusto knows how to get into the right position to take the ball. He is smart, he has quality — everything the team requires. Augusto and I have a great friendship and understanding,” Delgado said.

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