GUWAHATI: Bengaluru FC head coach Simon Grayson expressed that the team is still confident and have belief in the group to achieve their ambitions for the season as the Blues take on NorthEast United FC in Matchweek 14 of the Indian Super League (ISL) 2022-23 at the Indira Gandhi Athletic Stadium in Guwahati on Friday.
The Blues have suffered four defeats in the last five fixtures which have led them to drop down to the ninth position on the ISL points table. Simon Grayson’s men are nine points off the playoffs spot and a victory against NorthEast United FC, who languish in the last spot will help the team start a positive run in the second half of the season.
The Blues travel to Guwahati to take on Vincenzo Annese’s side who lost the previous fixture to Hyderabad FC, conceding six goals in the process. The Highlanders managed to earn the first victory of the season under the new head coach. Grayson highlighted the Highlanders’ performance against ATK Mohun Bagan which earned them their first win of the season.
“They (NorthEast United FC) have got a new coach. It’s never easy going to the NorthEast in the first place. It’s a new challenge for us. They are playing a different style of football and have got different players in there. Again it’s another team whether they are at the bottom of the division or top of the division, we respect,” said Grayson as read in a statement released by the ISL website.
The gaffer also shed light on how the team recovered from a close defeat against East Bengal FC and how the squad has come together to help each other and keep working hard until the very end.
“I said to my players that I can’t believe we lost the game through no real fault of our own. We kept working, we did lots of good things and all we have to do is to keep believing that we are going in the right direction. The goal is there for us to try and achieve, until we can’t achieve that goal we are not giving up on it,” stated the head coach.
“I think that’s the big thing that people will see. The results have not gone our way but our team keeps going till the very end. We just have to keep believing in the things we are doing because I see a lot of good things in training and matchday situations. If we can put everything together we can still go on a run,” added Grayson.
Grayson’s men have been creating the chances but they have struggled to find the back of the net with 2.8 shots on the target per match but with only eight goals to show and the Blues have missed 12 big chances which resulted in them scoring the least number of goals in the ISL (8).
“Football is about two penalty boxes. Taking chances at the other end and to make sure you don’t give opportunities to the opponent. Too many times we have not been able to do that with good defending from the opponent team, good saves, poor finishing or not taking our chances. We haven’t been able to put it together and it has been the frustrating part. Hopefully, it clicks soon and we can go on a run. Confidence and belief is a big thing and we’ve got that still within the group,” said the Englishman.
Roy Krishna, who has been leading the attack for the Blues attack this season, accompanied the head coach in the pre-match press conference.
The 35-year-old hasn’t been able to recreate the form that he is known for with only one goals and three assists to his name so far in the season. The attacker believes that his experience is the key factor for him to still help the team and the group of players are in this together.
“The season is not over, there are a few more games to go. We are all in this together and working really hard. We have to keep going and keep believing. Hopefully, we end up on the right side against NorthEast United FC. I’m trying to be better at my game. I’m working hard in training. The objective is the same to make the runs and trust my teammates. We’ve got to be on the same page and we’re doing that in training. People know my character, they know that if I don’t score, I’ll train hard. It’s just that I need a bit of luck to score that goal, I keep doing my thing and working hard for the team. Hopefully, the new year brings something special” said Krishna. (ANI)