Bengaluru FC head coach Simon Grayson wants to build on consecutive wins and get a hat-trick as his side kicks-off Matchweek 16 of the Indian Super League (ISL) 2022-23 against Jamshedpur FC at the JRD Tata Sports Complex, in Jamshedpur, on Wednesday.
The Blues edged past the Red Miners with an early goal in the reverse fixture. Since then, Bengaluru FC have lost two and won two games. Similarly, Aidy Boothroyd’s men also collected five points from the last four matches, including the win against East Bengal FC last week. Grayson expects a tough game on Wednesday as both teams are desperate to win the match to stay in the playoffs race.
“Both teams have progressed since the last meeting and got better. Our results have certainly been better in the last few weeks since that game, and Aidy (Boothroyd) is getting his team off to a good win recently as well. Looking at Jamshedpur FC performances over the last few weeks, it’s chopped and changed, played different systems to accommodate players or to accommodate the opposition, but it’s again that we both (are) desperate to win and build off from our previous results that we’ve had and both want to (go) higher up in the division and see how high we can both finish,” Grayson said in the pre-match press conference.
Despite having a poor season on the field, Jamshedpur FC have been receiving unwavering support from their supporters and that has helped them during these tough times, having scored two goals in last two home games, which they failed to do so in the earlier fixtures. The head coach was aware of this late resurgence of his opponent but was not afraid to face them.
“I think this could be a good experience in terms of coming to the Furnace. Obviously, it’s going to be quite a big crowd as well, and that’s something you have to deal with as an away team. But when you look at their results and performances, they have been better over the last few weeks,” he added.
“It just takes time for a new coach, and for the players to understand what (he is) doing. Aidy (Boothroyd) is seemed to getting to know the ISL as well and the players know him a little bit more now, so we fully respect the opposition, but we certainly are not fearful of anybody that we play, because we’ve got to concentrate on what we can do, to go and win three points, build off the previous two wins and try to make it three out of three possible,” he commented.
Rohit Kumar, who got his first goal of the season in the last match, accompanied Grayson at the pre-match press conference ahead of the Jamshedpur FC game.
The New Delhi born midfielder joined Bengaluru FC last season and is now getting regular game time under Grayson. Besides netting a goal this season, Kumar registered seven clearances and eight interceptions for the team in. The 26-year-old midfielder talked about their experience so far in the club and his personal ambition in the near future.
“I learn every day from my seniors like Sunil bhai (Chhetri) and Gurpreet bhai (Gurpreet Sandhu). They guide us and make us better and push us to get better every day. It is a good experience to share a dressing room with them and we will learn a lot of things in everyday life. So it will develop us in our future,” Kumar said in the pre-match press conference.
“I haven’t played for the national senior team. That is the ultimate dream and it will keep going until I achieve it. As a player, I just have to keep working hard and improve every game as it comes and hopefully, we will get in the playoffs and just keep this momentum going and keep winning games,” he added.
Rohit Kumar has been in the ISL since 2017, and has played for multiple clubs such as FC Pune City, Hyderabad FC, and Kerala Blasters FC, notching four goals and one assist to his name. The midfielder shared his thoughts about the league and how it can help the youngsters in the coming years.
“ISL is a great thing for Indian football. It is increasing every day and the youngsters are coming up to show their talent and we are getting a chance to show our talent in every match and against the other clubs as well. So,