I want the players to have the mindset of winning each game: Bengaluru FC's Simon Grayson
Bengaluru FC head coach Simon Grayson talks about his team's preparation against Odisha FC.
Bengaluru FC head coach Simon Grayson is optimistic about his team's morale as they prepare to take on Odisha FC in the opening fixture of Matchweek 6 of the Indian Super League (ISL) at the Kalinga Stadium, in Bhubaneswar, on Tuesday.
"The schedule hasn't been kind to us. We have a lot of away games at the start of the season but all we're trying to do is build our fixtures up," Grayson stated in the pre-match press conference.
A cracker awaits at the Kalinga! 🔥— Bengaluru FC (@bengalurufc) October 29, 2023
The Blues are back on the road again, as they take on the Juggernauts in Bhubaneswar with three points at stake. ⚔️ Come on, BFC! 🔵#WeAreBFC #Santhoshakke #OFCBFC | @IndSuperLeague @JioCinema pic.twitter.com/aC3GQXyC76
Odisha FC also finds themselves in a similar position as the Blues, having secured the same number of points from the same number of matches. The Juggernauts sit two places above Bengaluru FC on a better goal difference.
The Englishman anticipates a formidable challenge on Tuesday and foresees both teams being eager to secure the three points. He emphasizes the importance of his team's defensive shape to prevent their opponents from exploiting too much space.
"We go to Odisha FC in good spirits knowing that we'll keep working and improving every day. But we know that it's a tough game. I also think that Odisha will look at our team and think that this will be a tough game for them as well," he stated.
"I'm sure Odisha FC will look to keep possession a lot and dictate the tempo, so we have to be disciplined in our work ethic and defensive shape. Against FC Goa, I thought we gave them too much space and we'll have to avoid that against Odisha FC," Grayson added.
The Blues' head coach wants to instil the winning mentality back into his players and take it one match at a time, just like they did last season.
"I want the players to have the mindset of winning each game as it comes, and this group did that last year. We have to do everything we're capable of doing against Odisha FC and then go towards Hyderabad. It's going to be one game at a time," Grayson commented.
Centre-back Aleksandar Jovanovic joined Grayson for the press conference. He has developed a formidable understanding and cohesion with his fellow centre-back, Slavko Damjanovic.
Speaking to the media, Jovanovic highlights his effective partnership with Damjanovic at the heart of the Blues' defence.
"It's great to play alongside Slavko (Damjanovic). We both speak the same language and we're both from the same area in Europe. I think we've got a pretty good understanding of how one another thinks, of how we play," he shared.
Bengaluru FC will confront their former player, Roy Krishna, who moved to the Juggernauts during the summer transfer window. Jovanovic also expressed his thoughts on the prospect of facing his former teammate.
"We all know Roy (Krishna), he's a good friend of ours. but on the pitch, there are no friends, everyone is an enemy. I'll tell Slavko and whoever plays in the defensive line what his strengths are, and what he'll look to do. Hopefully, we'll have the upper hand," he commented.