Bengaluru FC head coach Simon Grayson highlighted the positives after his team shared points with NorthEast United FC in a 1-1 draw in the Indian Super League (ISL) match at the Indira Gandhi Athletic Stadium in Guwahati on Sunday.

Both Gurpreet Singh Sandhu and Mirshad Michu had a busy outing as NorthEast United FC and Bengaluru FC ended with a 1-1 scoreline. Captain Sunil Chhetri scored his 59th ISL goal from a spot-kick in the 36th minute, giving the visitors an early lead. The Highlanders demonstrated their determination to get back into the game, equalising with Aleksandar Jovanovic’s own goal just before the half-time whistle.

Juan Pedro Benali’s men posed a threat from the outset, utilising the field's dimensions with their quick transition game. Despite having numerous goal-scoring chances, NorthEast United FC failed to capitalise, missing opportunities that could have led to a more significant victory. 

Grayson expressed contentment with the point, acknowledging the quality of NorthEast United FC and asserting that his team was not surprised by their performance. However, he admitted that his team could have reacted better to maintain their one-goal lead.

“When you don't win a game, the next best thing is a draw,” Grayson stated in the post-match press conference. “We weren't surprised that NorthEast (United FC) can play because they played very well. They've got some really exciting wingers; they've got some good centre-forwards, a nice way of playing. It was always going to be a difficult game for us, but we started the game poorly, but we came through that."

Addressing the fact that it was a tough game for his team, Grayson stated that the Highlanders are playing very well compared to last season and had words of praise for NorthEast United FC.

“This was a tough game for us tonight. And Northeast United FC have shown what they're capable of doing. Completely different team to last year, as in both on and off the pitch, and they had some really attacking players and good options. And, if you can't win a game, you make sure you don't get beat,” Grayson noted.

Grayson felt that his team are not playing with the same confidence that they showed in the second half of the ISL 2022-23 season. While admitting it wasn't their best performance, Grayson emphasised the importance of securing points and urged his players to focus on the upcoming home games to build confidence. 

“Positive that we got another point,” he said. “I think after the couple of opportunities that they had; we could have been down in the game at half-time. We stuck in there and it wasn't one of our best performances, but it was another point for us."

“Of course, we want to win three points, but not playing with the same confidence that we had for the second half of last season because of maybe the results that we've played,” he continued. “But I think every player needs to probably up the game a little bit both in possession and out of possession, and hopefully, we can get into a run now of positivity. And confidence-wise, we've only had two games at home. We said we've got four out of the next five at home, which is something to really build on because the fortress, the Kanteerava, is where we got a lot of results, and we did that last year as well,” he concluded.