ISL- Indian Super League

We didn’t have our best players available: Bengaluru FC boss Simon Grayson


September 21 2023
Simon Grayson Bengaluru FC

Chettri was not available for Bengaluru FC today as he was performing national duties Asian Games

Bengaluru FC opened its 2023-24 Indian Super League account with a defeat against Kerala Blasters FC. The Yellow Army won by a 2-1 score line as the Blues made plenty of unforced errors to make life difficult for themselves. An own goal and a shocking mistake by Gurpreet Singh Sandhu were enough to give KBFC all three points.

Simon Grayson talked about that incident and more during his interaction with the media in the post-match press conference. He also talked about needing time to get his troops up to speed and the lack of forward options.

Here are the excerpts from the conversation:

Need time to prepare

Simon Grayson was of the belief that it is difficult to be completely ready for the opening game of the season while talking about the defeat to KBFC. He said, “I don’t think any team will be 100% ready for the first game of the season because you are still getting up to the tempo of a really competitive game. Pre-season games did not really serve a purpose but when you go amongst a big crowd and the first game of the season, I have seen it everywhere ofcourse first few games take a bit of bedding in.”

“But, saying that we know we gotta be better. We started the game poorly, and gave the ball away far too cheaply which is something we have worked a lot on over the pre-season weeks… then we started the second half poorly, gave the goal away, and gave them the lift. Then, we make a big mistake for the second goal and that sort of makes it really difficult but credit to the players who kept going.” the tactician added suggesting that his team made too many unforced errors.


Bengaluru FC did not have Sunil Chhetri and Rohit Dhanu available for selection due to their involvement in the Asian Games in Hangzhou. Furthermore, Javi Hernandez and Curtis Main played short cameos due to a lack of match fitness. Talking about the lack of attacking options available to him, Simon Grayson said, “Top end of the pitch where we need to get better, we did not have our best players available.”

Gurpreet Singh’s howler

Gurpreet Singh Sandhu made a terrible mistake by giving away the ball cheaply to Adrian Luna inside his own box which led to KBFC’s second goal. Talking about that particular incident, Simon Grayson said, “I think he is old enough, experienced enough and wise enough to know that he has made a mistake. Goalkeepers, when they make a mistake, get punished a lot and it puts us on the back foot. It was a big mistake there is no hiding away from that and Gurpreet will be the first to admit that. All you do now is learn from any mistake whether it is an outfield player or a goalkeeper then you make sure you don’t do it again.”

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