Have to defend better, from open play and set-pieces: Bengaluru FC head coach Marco Pezzaiuoli

Bengaluru FC head coach Marco Pezzaiuoli called for improvements in their defence, ahead of their match against Hyderabad FC in the Hero Indian Super League (ISL) at the Athletic Stadium, in Bambolim, on Wednesday.

Having won the first match against NorthEast United FC, the Blues have collected just one point in the last three matches, having lost with identical scorelines against Odisha FC and Mumbai City FC.

Pezzaiuoli addressed the media in the pre-match press conference ahead of their upcoming match.

Here are the excerpts from the press conference:

What are your thoughts on Hyderabad FC ahead of the game?

It will be a difficult game against Hyderabad FC, they did well against Mumbai City FC, they have a mix of good youngsters, who played in the U23 Indian side, and also experienced and foreign players. They know how they want to play, they make good transitions, they have quick players, they have experienced players like Ogbeche (Bartholomew). Also good players for headers in set-pieces. It is a good team I think, one of the better teams in the league.

What is your assessment on Bengaluru FC's performance against Mumbai City FC in the last game?

We played our best game so far against Mumbai City FC. We played according to our style - that is to get the ball back as soon as possible, that’s what we did. We pressed very high, we got the ball good and fast, the counter pressing was good in the last game. I asked the players to do it better, come as fast as possible behind the defence line, which they did also.

We created chances from the beginning. What I am not happy with the Mumbai City FC game was the defending and set-pieces part, because the first goal which we conceded and the penalty, we could have defended better.

Former Bengaluru FC player Juanan will be playing for Hyderabad FC in the next game, do you think his presence will give the opponents an edge?

Of course, he knows 100% how we play, he was working with me in March, till the AFC Cup, in Male. He is a great player and has a great history with Bengaluru FC, he has given a lot of value to this team. But still, he was missing in the ending stages of the last season, and was not really a good season (for him). We know his good things, but we also know his weaknesses, that is also our advantage.

Is it good that Bengaluru FC are facing rough patches in the beginning of the tournament, so that you have enough time to rectify them going forward?

I don't think it has been a bad start, we can make some things better. We spoke about different situations where we could have four or six points more than we do. If you watch the game between Mumbai and ATK, the referee's decision influences the game, and similarly the penalties have influenced our games. We invest a lot, and those moments can win us games.

What are the updates on the injuries of Prince Ibara, Iman Basafa and Musavu King?

Prince Ibara is undergoing a test right now, but we're not sure yet. We have a training session again, so his inclusion will be a late decision. The same goes for Udanta (Singh), (Iman) Basafa and (Musavu) King.

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