The Bengaluru FC head coach is not ready to take Jamshedpur FC lightly.

Bengaluru FC have begun climbing up the ISL 2022-23 table rung by rung. Simon Grayson’s side followed up a win at Guwahati with a solid performance at home against Odisha. Now, they face off against a new-look Jamshedpur FC, who have been busy in the transfer window.

When the two sides met at the Kanteerava earlier in the season, Danish Farooq’s early strike and Gurpreet Singh Sandhu’s heroics proved to be the difference. Jamshedpur however, are unbeaten in their last two games and managed a brilliant 2-1 victory against East Bengal in their previous fixture.

BFC head coach Simon Grayson was joined by midfielder Rohit Kumar in the pre-match press conference.

Changes for Jamshedpur since the last meeting

Aidy Boothroyd has banked on players with prior ISL experience to turn the tide. Rafael Crivellaro and Dylan Fox were signed in the transfer window, and the two players are no strangers to performing wonders in the league. Simon Grayson said, “Basically, I think both teams have progressed since a few weeks back when we played. Our results have been better in the last few weeks, and Aidy is getting his team off a good win as well.”

He added, “Looking at Jamshedpur’s performance and line-ups over the last few weeks, it has chopped and changed. Different systems in each game to accommodate the opposition. It’s a game we’re both desperate to win and build off from our previous games. We want to finish as high up in the division as possible.”

Playing at the Furnace

Despite Jamshedpur’s poor home form this season (winning just once all season so far) the Furnace is a tough place for visiting teams to take full points from. The last two games at home for Jamshedpur have been 2-2 draws.

Simon Grayson spoke of his plans to contain the Red Miners, “It’s going to be a good experience coming to the furnace. There’s going to be quite a big crowd and there is something you have to deal with as the away team. When you look at the results and performances, they have been better over the last few weeks. It takes time for players under a new coach to understand what they are doing.”

He continued, “Aidy seems to get to know the Indian Super League and the players know him a little bit more. We fully respect the opposition and are not fearful of anybody we play with. We’ve got to concentrate to go and win three points and build off the performances and get three wins in a row.”

“They’re a team that can play different systems, and are strong and powerful. There are players who have come to the club recently. We are focused on them and what system they could play against us. But we’ve also got to focus on what we do,” he added.

Rohit’s development at BFC

Midfielder Rohit Kumar began his ISL journey with FC Pune City and then represented Hyderabad and Kerala Blasters. Last season, he made nine appearances for the Blues and seems to have nailed down a starting spot this season.

The 25-year-old spoke of sharing the dressing room with giants of Indian football, “I learn every day from my senior players like Sunil Chhetri and Gurpreet Singh Sandhu. They guide and push to make us better every day and it’s a good experience to share the dressing room with them. We get to learn a lot of things that help us develop in our daily lives. It develops us in the future.”

“The Indian Super League is great for Indian football, and we are getting a chance to showcase our talent against other clubs across the matches. I think it’s a great platform for youngsters in Indian football,” he added.

Advice to youngsters and career goals

Rohit imparted some words of advice to the Indian youngsters who are at the periphery of the first team. He outlined his ambitions, “I’d say to the youngsters to keep working hard and dream big because you never know when things will change. You just need to try to improve every day, learn from your seniors, and try to do your best on the pitch.

“As a player, it’s always a dream to play for the National Team. I’ve played for the youth teams but not for the Senior National Team. That is my ultimate dream and I’ll keep going till I achieve it. I’m always happy to contribute. For now, I have to keep working hard and try to improve in each and every game as it comes. We have six games (left) and hope to make it to the playoffs by keeping this momentum and continuing to win games,” he concluded.

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