We did not want to peak too soon this season: Chhetri


wo years after leading Bengaluru FC to a well-deserved I-League title in their debut season, Sunil Chhetri is gung-ho for more. Ahead of their crucial match against Salgaocar, the Blues skipper was optimistic of sealing the title at the Sree Kanteerava Stadium here on Sunday.
Excerpts from in interview:
On Sunday’s title decider against Salgaocar
We’re trying our best to look at it as a normal game where we need three points. When you start thinking about things that haven’t been done, which you might achieve, it adds a bit of pressure.
On winning the title at home
We would absolutely love it. When you come to Kanteerava and look at the fans and the reception we get, you just want to win games for them. The kind of passion, emotion and enthusiasm they bring to the stadium is massive. I’ve been playing for 13 years for so many different clubs and it’s the best I have experienced in my life.
On the turning point for the Blues this season
The loss to Sporting Clube de Goa. They were 10 men and we lost 2-1 at home. That was a real jolt. It was something I wouldn’t expect from my team. Apart from that loss, we were always second or third in the league. That’s what we wanted, we didn’t want to peak too soon. Now we’ve played well enough to give ourselves a chance – need three points in two games which is a good position to be in.
On keeping the youngsters motivated and pressure free
We have a lot of youngsters in our side, most of whom who haven’t won a league. Even Eugeneson (Lyngdoh) hasn’t won the league yet. We try and not talk about the championship too much. We try to keep it as low-key and normal as possible.
On Eugeneson’s return from injury and his importance in the team
Not having your best player for more than a month is not the best scenario for any club. But even when he wasn’t there, we stuck to our gameplan and made sure that when he returned, we were still in a position to win the championship.
Did they miss him?
Of course. He was our best player last season and he is our best this year too. His impact on our team has been tremendous.

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