Second half show against Mumbai City FC was embarrassing: Bengaluru FC’s Javi Hernandez

Bengaluru FC midfielder was highly critical of his team’s performance in the second half of the 0-4 loss against Mumbai City FC in the Hero Indian Super League (ISL) last Thursday that saw the club fall to their fourth straight loss of the campaign. 

The Blues were outplayed by a rampant Mumbai City FC side on the evening but much to their head coach Simon Grayson’s dismay, his team were also outrun and outfought by their opponents. 

Hernandez admitted that the performances that his team has been delivering are not of the level expected from a team of Bengaluru FC’s quality and urged his teammates to put things right in the nine-day break that they have before their next match against FC Goa. 

Hernandez spoke to indiansuperleague.com in an interview and here are the excerpts:

It's been a difficult run of results for Bengaluru FC. But you had a few moments along the way like the first half against Mumbai City FC. Could you take positives out of it? 

I think we created some good chances in the first half against Mumbai City FC. We played well in the first half an hour of that game but the second-half performance was embarrassing. We can't play like that. I want to apologise to the fans who had come to Mumbai and those who were watching the match at home. We will come stronger in the next match. 

In that second half against Mumbai City FC, the team didn't appear to fight a lot. Is it down to the recent strength of results and the low confidence in the team? 

I don't think it is about the fighting (spirit) because everyone wants to win the match but I don't know what is happening. We cannot play like that. We have to play much better and as I said we have to come stronger in the next match.

Being an experienced player, you must have experienced phases where the team is struggling. You just recently won the Durand Cup, so how do you remind yourselves that you are a good team and can deliver performances? 

I think we have good players, we have a good team but we have to solve this problem. We played really badly in the last four matches. There are still 15 matches to play, so we have time but we have to improve a lot. 

You have a nine-day gap before your next match. Does it help you or do you want the matches to come quickly when you are losing? 

Yes (usually), but now for us, it is good to have time for everyone to see what is happening and show ourselves that we can do better. So I hope the situation changes as soon as possible. 

You have some top strikers in your team like Roy Krishna and Sunil Chhetri. How do you think you have developed an understanding with these players so far? 

As I said, we have very good players like Roy (Krishna) and (Sunil) Chhetri but I don't know why we aren't playing well this season. It could be due to a lack of confidence. So we need to train hard and try to play better. 

It's a new team with a new head coach. He tried a three-man defence previously and against Mumbai City FC, it was a four-man defence. Do you feel the coach is still trying to find his best eleven? 

No, I don't think it is about the formation. The coach is trying to put the best formation every game. We have to show much better football in matches like these.

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