Simon Grayson issues updates on Bengaluru FC's transfer plans and injury woes

Bengaluru FC head coach Simon Grayson provided an update about the team's plans in the January transfer window while also speaking about the team's injury status ahead of the match against Hyderabad FC in the Hero Indian Super League (ISL). 

The Blues find themselves in eighth position in the table, nine points behind the playoff spots and would need to turn their fortunes around in the second half of the season.

Grayson also spoke about the progress made by the club's new signing Pablo Perez on the fitness front as he prepares to unleash the Spaniard as a starter in the Hero ISL.

Here are excerpts from Grayson's pre-match press conference: 

We’ve seen Pablo Perez coming off the bench in the last couple of games after almost three weeks of training. Is it closer for him now to start games?

He's a lot closer than he was when he first came to the club because of the amount of training that he's had. The game time that he's had, I think last week on Sunday when we trained, I was speaking to him after the game and he was saying now he was blowing (up), he couldn't get a second of breath because he feels his fitness levels are still not up there. But that just comes with coming off the bench sometimes and making lots of runs.

So, he's getting very close to being 100% fit. But what he has to do, like all the other players, is if they're not starting (then) to come off the bench and make an impact and he has certainly done that in the two games, you saw the goal, or the opportunity that you had, it was a great passing move, and he nearly finishes it off. His qualities give us different options to play off the sides as a 9 or a 10, sometimes, or an 8 like he did against Kerala Blasters FC.

Is there an update on the fitness status of the players?

Udanta (Singh) has been edging closer, Alan (Costa) missed the last couple of games and (is) moving closer, we'll assess them before the game. Bruno (Ramires) missed the last few games and is not going to be too far away as well. So, at some point this season, it would be nice to have a full complement of foreigners to start with, and then actual full members of the squad to pick from because we have suffered a lot of injuries this year. When you're only utilising, sometimes, three of your six foreigners, it's been very difficult or not ideal should have said, but it's part and parcel of football. Hopefully, we get them all available for selection for the remainder of the season soon.

As you said the team is going through injuries and is missing players, are you looking at the transfer window for an activity?

I'm guided by people already at the football club and people said to me, there aren't a lot of transfers that get done in January, anywhere (that) hasn't done previously because the season normally finishes in February-March time, something like that. Obviously, it's extended this year with the Super Cup. But we've got a list of players that we know could be available.

We've got a group of players that we may think about in the summer or now. So it's in our process of what we're thinking. But I've got to get the right ones if we're going to do it. And the biggest thing is when you're making signings in January, if you do, you've got to make sure that they're improving your squad and not just for adding numbers to it. So it's in our thought process whether we do something or not we'll wait to see.

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