Bengaluru FC head Coach Carles Cuadrat has hailed how crucial it was that his Indian Super League (ISL) side played its home games at the Kanteerava Stadium, adding that the defending champions don't have pressure of performing.
Asked about his best signing of the season, Cuadrat responded in typical eloquent fashion, with his response highlighting the importance of the Fortress to his team and the supporters.
"With all due respect for my new players, the most important signature we got this season was the one that lets us play at the Kanteerava Stadium. It was the most wonderful part of our pre-season. We have to be honest about it. The stadium helps us a lot," he said.
"The supporters and the club have had a very, very strong relationship for a long time. It would have been very upsetting to lose the chemistry that we have with the city, so we are very happy that we will be playing here," said Cuadrat.
Stepping into a second season as a Head Coach, Cuadrat added that he will attempt a few new tactics and systems heading into his title defence. "The new season is an opportunity for me to try new things and to work with different aspects. It's also the time for new players to get into the dynamics of the team. We've tried a lot of different options with the physical conditions and at the same time getting the team ready," he said.
The Blues played friendlies against I-League clubs Churchill Brothers FC, Gokulam Kerala FC and Minerva Punjab FC during their pre-season camp in Bellary, and the Cuadrat said that the matches served as an opportunity to try out new formations.
"We don't really pay attention to the results in pre-season. The important thing is that I am able to see the different players that we have and how they are able to play together. My intention is to try and arrive to the first weeks of our competitions in the best condition possible and to be competitive from the start," Cuadrat added.
When asked about the pressures of defending the title, Cuadrat spoke about how he considers his side just another team looking to win again.
"I think that the term 'defend the title' is a very English expression. We don't use that in Spain. Maybe it is a cultural thing, but Barcelona is not considered to be defending the title in La Liga this year. They are just one more team competing to get the trophy. I never tell my players that they have to defend the title. The important thing is to stay competitive and to try and reach the playoffs. Once you are in the playoff, it will be about those three games and anything can happen," Cuadrat added.