Pleased with the squad we have at our disposal, claims Simon Grayson
Bengaluru FC will be missing services of captain Sunil Chhetri
Bengaluru FC and Kerala Blasters FC will kick start the 2023-24 season of the Indian Super League when they clash on Thursday at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium, in Kochi. Simon Grayson, head coach of the Blues, has a huge task at hand, which is to replicate last season’s performance.
Bengaluru FC reached the final of the Indian Super League playoffs but lost to Mohun Bagan SG in a nail-biting final. This time around, the Blues have a fresher squad with interesting new faces. The tactician will hope that his team can start the campaign with a resounding win over the Yellow Army.
The head coach recently spoke to the media during the pre-match press conference and talked about several pressing issues ahead of the opening fixture. Here are the excerpts from the conversation:
Balance in the squad
The head coach is happy with the players and the overall balance of the squad for the upcoming campaign. “I’m really pleased with the squad we have at our disposal this season. We’ve got a competitive group of players with some really good characters. The foreign players who have joined us this season, and the players who have come up through the ranks gives us a very balanced team and I’m looking forward to the challenge in what will be a very competitive season,” Grayson said while talking about the options available to him for the season.
Choosing a competitive team
Sunil Chhetri is not available for selection due to his involvement in the 2022 Asian Games in Hangzhou but Simon Grayson does not see it as a problem. “We have six foreigners to choose from and we can only play four at any particular time. But whoever is in that team, whether it is three foreign players and the rest are made up of Indian players, I will pick a team that we think will be competitive and try to get a result against a strong Kerala Blasters team,” he added.
A tough game expected
Simon Grayson understands the support that Kerala Blasters FC receives from the fans in the stands and how it can be intimidating. However, he expects his players to rise up to the occasion in a game that is to be competitive. Speaking on the grand occasion and what it means for the players, he said, “As a footballer, you want to play in these big games and you want to challenge yourself in front of hostile atmospheres and that’s what I’m expecting tomorrow.”