Bengaluru FC head coach Simon Grayson was not impressed with the way his side reacted in the game as they suffered their first defeat of the Hero Indian Super League (ISL) 2022-23 season at the hands of Manolo Marquez’s Hyderabad FC at the G.M.C Balayogi Athletic Stadium, in Hyderabad, on Saturday.

Grasyon added how the whole team is still in a learning curve and a single player cannot be pointed out for the defeat while considering the error made by goalkeeper Gurpreet Singh Sandhu.

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The 52-year-old also spoke about what formula needs to be applied to become successful and get progress as the season continues, who cannot wait to play in front of the home fans in the official post-match press conference.

Here are the excerpts from Simon Grayson’s press conference:

It was the first loss of the season. Do you think it is a fair result?

It was a close game and I think we defended very well on a really difficult pitch for both the teams. The pitch was a talking point before the game and it was not easy out there for the players to take the touch of the ball and cross it in the open spaces.

We did not deal properly with a long ball towards the end of the match, the goalkeeper had to punch it. But you absolutely cannot blame him (Gurpreet Singh Sandhu) who has been fantastic since he has been at this football club. The overall thought process of the game was we need to be better while in possession and keep hold of the ball, not giving it away too cheaply. We need to handle ourselves well at the top end of the pitch, and create enough chances.

We are all in this together and it is a learning curve for everyone at this football club during this early part of the season. It was certainly not easy to come out empty handed from the game considering the way we lost. It is on me to find a solution, we were out with quite a few important players tonight. Roy Krishna did not play, Prince Ibara has been injured and out all season. We are a young squad and need to keep getting better, not just me and the coaching staff but everyone as a whole.

There was not much movement seen at the front end tonight. Do you think there is a missing link that could have led to not getting any result at all on the day?

It is indeed difficult when you do not have enough options available. We went with two up-front in a 3-4-1-2 formation. With Javi Hernandez in the team from whom you expect creativity, has not been fit through the pre-season, and tonight it was his first outing of the Hero ISL 2022-23 season. I started Sivasakthi Narayanan and Sunil Chhetri where one has got the pace and the other has a ton of experience, but we needed to be a bit clever on the ball to ask the opposition (Hyderabad FC) a few questions and as I said it was not easy out there.

Tonight was the first instance of Siva and Chhetri playing together. Do you think it can be an option to explore going forward, as the season progresses?

It is surely something that we will consider and tonight they were our only option available with two of the foreign forwards not fit enough for the selection which makes it difficult. But it is about the team and not just about the partnership up-front. We need to find the correct formula that is going to make us successful. We suffered our first defeat tonight since I have been at this football club.

Hyderabad FC started to push you a bit in the second half. Were you happy with your hold of the ball and the possession of the same?

As I mentioned, defensively we were sound and the back three defended the box very well. But, we did not trouble the opposition enough, got on with the ball the way I wanted the boys to play. We did the simple things correctly for most part of the game, only for the fundamentals to be off for a while which is not in the hands of the coach once the match begins. We are a new team trying to improve in every area, not gelled well enough as Hyderabad FC and their coach is here for a long time.

What is the one most important thing you will take away specifically from this match?

You have to be focused and switched on for more than 90 minutes else the opposition will punish you. Overall, we really need to improve ourselves when we have the possession of the ball if we want to make it tough for the opponent team. It is never easy when you have three tough away games consecutively, but you will get to see a different side when we play at our home ground.