Bengaluru FC downed FC Goa at Fatorda by a margin of 2-0.
Bengaluru FC got back to winning ways after a streak of four losses in the ISL 2022-23. They defeated high-flying FC Goa at Goa in a remarkable win that could change the course of their season going forward. The side showed a gritty performance in the away game and defeated the Goan side by a margin of 2-0. Both goals were scored by Javi Hernandez, who had an amazing outing today. After the game, Bengaluru FC head coach Simon Grayson addressed the post-match press conference to express his thoughts on the game.
Edited excerpts from the conference are as follows.
What motivated the team today?
After a streak of four back-to-back losses, it seemed that Bengaluru FC had lost the plot for the current season. However, a spirited performance from the side earned them much-needed three points against the in-form FC Goa. Grayson talked about how he motivated his team for today’s performance:
“I think the motivation came from my dressing room performance on Thursday night against Mumbai. I was very critical of the players. But one thing that we did in the week was to work extremely hard. There is a real spirit in this group anyway. I just asked them to throw back at me a few words that I said last week. And they have done that. I was as much critical of them last week, I can’t be more proud of them tonight because everyone worked extremely hard. They won individual battles. We played when we had to play. Hopefully, this is a small step toward where we want to reach at the end of the season. When it mattered, we took our chances that came along.”
On the importance of today’s win
Simon Grayson believes that today’s win is hugely significant for the club going forward. He elaborated why he feels so:
“It (today’s win) is massive. When you lose four in a row being a club like BFC, it is not good enough. After today’s win, we will not put extra pressure on ourselves every time we go to the training ground or in a match. But tonight is a fantastic feeling. We did not have this feeling for a few weeks, a few months to be fair. We will now try to play in this manner in more games in the future. Our confidence had not been as high as it should have been. We have made individual mistakes in nearly the last 4-5 games. Tonight, when we needed to defend in the 18-yard box, we did. We were very clinical in our work.”
On leaving Sunil Chhetri out of the playing XI
Grayson claimed that dropping Sunil Chhetri from playing XI is one of the toughest decisions that he has taken as a coach. He said he did that to find a way to win the game. He stated:
“It was very very tough because he is an icon of Indian football. One thing that I would want to say is that he has been highly professional. He has been backing the team. He has been giving speeches on the pitch and in the hotel rooms. And, he has been a fantastic player to work with. I changed my team today to find a way to win the football match. Sometimes, you have to make big decisions. Leaving out Sunil Chhetri is one of the biggest decisions that I have had to make as a coach.”
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Coach’s reaction to Javi’s performance
Simon Grayson heaped praise on Javi for his performance in today’s game. He said:
“He was one of the players towards whom criticism was aimed last week. He is a fantastic player. Last week, in Mumbai, he was not able to influence the game much. But tonight, he showed his quality in the way he took (scored) two goals. His composure was good, especially while attacking balls in tight areas. What we want from Javi is to get him run again. He had a stop-start pre-season. To be fair, he did not train after the Mumbai game until Thursday because of an injury.”
Seasonal objectives can be achieved?
Grayson asserted that it is still very much possible for Bengaluru FC to achieve what they planned to achieve at the beginning of the season. He said:
“We have been very confident in the dressing room. My players believe that we can still get there where we want to go. This league is really competitive. Any team can defeat any other team on any day. That is why this is so tight. If we can get back-to-back wins, against ATK Mohun Bagan next week, which is going to be a massive game, then all of a sudden we will be very close to where we want to get to after a lot of negativity. That is just football. You have to roll. There are highs and lows. But what we can’t do is we can’t rest on our lows and think that this is our performance and we don’t turn up next week. We have to always back up a bad performance with a good one again.”