Bengaluru FC coach Ashley Westwood is one person who doesn't shy away from mincing words and we got yet another testament for that. Fresh after winning the second I-League title with his club on Sunday, the British coach mentioned that he is not bothered if the I-League or the famed Indian Super League merges in the future.
There's been a massive uncertainty over the future of I-League â€” the domestic club football league of India â€” on the face of the ISL's increasing popularity. Fans, critics and football players have called for a merger of the two competitions so that the Indian football calendar at least gets sorted out.
Bengaluru FC skipper and India national football team hotshot Sunil Chhetri too mentioned the need of a structured Indian football calendar last year with proper differentiation between the national team and the ISL or the I-League.
Amid growing concerns, the All India Football Federation (AIFF) also mentioned earlier this year that they were more hopeful of a ISL and I-League merger and a single football league could be implemented in two years' time.
Westwood, however, isn't interested what transpires in the future, as long as he is doing justice to his coaching role at Bengaluru FC. On being asked to comment on a possible merger between the two Indian football competitions, the British coach told International Business Times, India:
"I just care about my job and do my job professionally. I don't care what the I-League or the ISL does. I just know I'm a good coach in my opinion," the British coach said. "The records speak for itself, I don't need to sing any praises. Neither do I want other coaches to sing praises for me.
"I just care about my job and my players. The rest will look after itself," he added after BFC won the title defeating Salgaocar FC at the Kanteerava Stadium on Sunday.
Westwood also summed up BFC's entire season and mentioned that the club deserved winning the I-League as they got through a lot of challenges to reach the zenith. "It's been a tough season and it was solely due to the impact of the ISL. We had a lot of injury worries in our squad â€” Robin Singh hurt his ACL, Eugeneson Lyngdoh broke his leg, John Johnson got suspended. Curtis Osano got a niggle midway.
"Despite all, we went with our business and we feel we got what we deserved. We utilised our youth players well too and it was just a shame the other clubs violated the league's U-22 rule. I, as a coach, always respected the rule," he told IBTimes India.