Bengaluru FC won their third consecutive game in the ISL.

Bengaluru FC put up a sparkling performance away at the furnace to beat Jamshedpur FC 3-0. An early strike from Rohit Kumar was followed up by Roy Krishna’s outrageous long-range effort. Simon Grayson’s side killed the game when Sivasakthi Narayanan justified his selection by adding a third goal just past the hour mark.

This is BFC’s third win in a row and lifts them to seventh place in the table despite playing a couple of games more than Chennaiyin. With five games left to play and four of those at home, Bengaluru FC have a good chance of sneaking into the playoff positions. Simon Grayson addressed the media after his side’s win.

Here’s what he said.

Thoughts on the game

Despite Jamshedpur dominating possession and forcing a record number of corners, Bengaluru’s defence stood firm and they were clinical in front of goal. Grayson was delighted to come out of a stern test with full points, “Disappointed in how we started the game. Full credit to Jamshedpur. You know that it’s going to be a physical contest, you have to defend your 18-yard box well. They tested us with a lot of corners early on but we remained strong.

He continued, “We are capable of hitting teams on the counter-attack and settled down a lot better. For Roy (Krishna) to hit that fantastic strike is something that he has been doing a lot in training but has not managed to replicate on matchdays. The third goal gave us breathing space. We wanted to keep the clean sheet and full credit to the players who worked hard till the very end.”

“We were sloppy in possession and allowed Jamshedpur to put too many balls into the box. We were tested but we did really well. They had a lot of possession without threatening the goal too much. They are the fine margins which we have been on the wrong end of this season a couple of times. We came through a tough test tonight,” the mentor added.

The Blues’ late charge

Not long ago, the Blues were languishing in ninth and had been written off from the playoffs conversation. Three wins in a row have lifted the side’s morale and belief. Simon Grayson mentioned the formula behind his recent success, “We just kept working really hard on the training pitch. It was frustrating more than anything. We won the Durand Cup and started the season with four points out of six. In all the games we lost, we weren’t out of the game. We made mistakes and did not take our chances.”

“After the Mumbai game, it was critical to go to Goa and win 2-0. We got to be ruthless in both boxes. Fortunately, we seemed to be hitting the target more, and looked like we could score many goals. We’ve had a lot of injuries this season and even now we don’t have the full allocation of foreigners,” he added.

Tough decisions pay off

Simon Grayson has made some critical calls off late, benching Sunil Chhetri and giving more minutes to 21-year-old Sivasakthi and using Udanta Singh and the skipper as enforcers from the bench. This has worked wonders off late. The tactician praised his squad’s depth, “The strength and depth of our squad is good because we’re getting people back fit. It’s never easy as a coach to leave out somebody like Sunil. He’s the icon of Indian football. But sometimes you’ve got to make hard decisions. Siva has been very good on the top edge of the pitch and so has Rohit.”

The goal difference factor

Having played 15 matches, Bengaluru FC have a goal difference of -3 and will need to better as things tighten up in the middle of the table. Teams will push into overdrive to make the playoffs, and Grayson wants his side not to be wasteful, “If we are good enough to get to the playoffs, that will take care of itself. The last thing you want to do is miss out on goal difference.

“That’s why I was critical about allowing them chances late on and not taking our chances. Come to the end of the season, that could play a massive part. We’ve got five games to go with teams in and around us but can’t get too ahead of ourselves. It has not been an easy season and it is good to be in this situation,” he signed off.

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