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Bengaluru FC coach Gerard Zaragoza eyes minimum sixth place finish

Published at :February 6, 2024 at 10:20 PM
Modified at :February 6, 2024 at 10:45 PM
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Rutvij Joshi

The Bengaluru FC tactician expressed his disappointment over schedule of the upcoming games.

Bengaluru FC hosts Chennaiyin FC at Sree Kanteerava Stadium in Bengaluru on Wednesday. The hosts lost their first encounter against new ISL entrants Punjab in the second phase and will look to bounce back with a win at their home.

During the break, BFC solidified their squad with right back Nikhil Poojary, Chinglensana Singh and Spanish center forward Olivier Drost in their bid to qualify for the playoffs. The Blues, however, are running out of time and they need to win as many games as possible out of the 9 remaining games to stand a chance to qualify for the playoffs.

Bengaluru FC head coach Gerard Zaragoza and winter recruit Oliver Drost spoke to the media on the eve of the fixture.

Mood in the camp

Bengaluru FC are languishing at second bottom of the table and the mood in the dressing room will not be as pleasant as it should be. In spite of that, Bengaluru FC are looking at the future in hope to turn the fortune.

“The mood, after a loss of course, you need to change the mood because when you lost one game, you need to travel to Delhi, you need to play at 5 o’clock, that means that you have everything fast, fast, fast. And then, right to home, players tired. You know that you have game in three days. You need to work with them to change this mood. But actually, the mood is completely another one. We forget the last game. We always look forward,” Gerard began.

He further went on and stated that the home support in the upcoming games will be very important in their fight for a playoff spot. He shared, “This is the most important. Chennai is coming. They are fighting for, they are inside this battle for the 6th position and what I can say is that we are hungry, we are hungry and all of us want to fight till the last moment,  Football is football and you can have one bad day, but the reality is that in ISL we (have) games against Jamshedpur and NorthEast at home. Supporters help us.”

Fight for the sixth position

The top six positions in the ISL table is a treasure that every team wants to have a bite for but the road to the treasure hunt is not easy. Gerard Zarogaza understands the importance of the position and assured the fans and competitors that the Blues will fight for it until the last second of the last matchday to achieve that.

“I think that we are now 6 teams who are fighting for this sixth position. We will fight till the last second, the last minute of the last game to arrive there. We are now in a bad situation on the table, of course, but we only need to go to two nights ago when at half-time Jamshedpur was on the bottom with Hyderabad and when finished the game, they were inside the sixth position.”

“That means that all of us will win games, will draw, will lose. The important is to arrive the last two, three games with the possibilities to be inside (top 6),” he explained how there is a barest of margin between different sides vying for that position at the moment.

Packed scheduling and thoughts on CFC

The Bengaluru FC boss wasn’t pleased at the scheduling for the second phase as his side is tasked to play 2 games in the span of four days. On the contrary, Chennaiyin, their rivals, play their first game in the second phase.

When questioned if the visitors have an added advantage against the host for the upcoming game Zaragoza opined, “I don’t know if it’s an advantage or not. “We played three days ago and they not played from before the Super Cup. And we need to think that in four days more we play against them, I don’t think that the calendar, how we can play five matches in February when we have only ten matches to play.”

He continued venting out his frustrations, “How is it possible that in three months, we are going to play five matches in one month? Not sense. That is what it is. The reality is that we need to play against Chennai.”

Bengaluru looking at revenge

The Spaniard is upbeat about taking the revenge as the Blues were beaten 2-0 in a reverse fixture before his arrival by the Marina Machans, “I need to remember that just before my arrival, the team lost 2-0 against Chennai away. Now at home, we want to win. We know that also it’s a derby. The battles in a game like this are different. It’s the same position that you are, and we need to fight hard for win the game.”

Rohan Bopanna being the guest at Kanteerava

Rohan Bopanna, India’s 43 year young tennis sensation who recently won the Australian Open in Men’s double category will be the guest of Kanteerava on Wednesday evening supporting the Blues.

The BFC boss is ecstatic to meet him and will also like him to speak with his team after the full time whistle. Congratulating him Gerard said, “I think following his experience, he’s a very talented man. I hope to meet him. Yeah, we hope to meet him, because he’s a star. He’s a champion. If I can bring him to the changing room and he can talk with the players, sure that will be nice for them. First of all, congratulations to him for the last achievement. We are happy to have champions, people who come here to watch our games.”

Olivier Drost comments

The Winter recruit who joined as a replacement of Curtis Main is expected to lead the line for the BFC side for the remainder of the season. The striker shared his views on the club and commented, “I think it’s a really good experience, the club is nice, everyone is great here, the way that the coach wants to play suits me a lot, so I just can’t wait to get started.”

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