The atmosphere that our fans create is important for us: Bengaluru FC’s Simon Grayson
Bengaluru FC head coach Simon Grayson is optimistic about getting back on the path to victory as they prepare to host East Bengal FC on Wednesday.
Bengaluru FC head coach Simon Grayson is optimistic about getting back on the path to victory as they prepare to host East Bengal FC in the opening fixture of matchweek 3 in the Indian Super League (ISL) 2023-24 season at the Sree Kanteerava Stadium in Bengaluru on Wednesday.
The start of the season hasn't been favourable for Bengaluru FC, with back-to-back defeats in the first two fixtures. Furthermore, they will be missing two key players, Suresh Singh Wangjam and Roshan Singh, who received marching orders in the previous game.
However, the Englishman is eagerly anticipating their return to the home turf. He believes that the stadium and the supporters bring a lot of positive energy to the team, which could be vital for them to bounce back from the initial setbacks.
“When the fixtures came out, we were desperate for a home game pretty quickly. We know how important this place is for the fans and for us as well. We do bounce off each other. The atmosphere they create is really important for us," Grayson stated in the pre-match press conference.
Grayson believes that the Sree Kanteerava Stadium has been a happy hunting ground not only for BFC but also for the Indian national team. He is hopeful that upon returning to their home stadium on Wednesday, they can turn the tide in their favour.
“Since the last time we've played here, we've lost two finals. The national team has been here and won. Lots of positive games in Bengaluru over the last few months and we hope to get back to winning ways on Wednesday,” said the head coach.
While they will be missing two players due to suspension, there is some positive news for the team as forwards Sunil Chhetri and Rohit Danu have rejoined the squad and resumed training after participating in the national camp.
The Blues have endured two narrow defeats, and Grayson has previously mentioned the team's lack of attacking options. However, with the return of Chhetri and Danu, that issue could be resolved for the side.
“Sunil (Chhetri) is back and so is Rohit Danu, and it is important to have them back. Great to have them back in the attack where we have been lacking a bit. The others have been finding their game time. You lack in a bit of competition for places, but not anymore with their return, and I'm delighted to have them back,” Grayson stated.
The 53-year-old also highlighted how the inclusion of their captain has significantly boosted the team's morale during training.
“Sunil trained with us on Sunday, Monday and today as well. He's trying to get back into the swing of things and wants to be among the set of players and to be around them. He has made an impact within training with his play and vocally as well,” he added.
Grayson's side lost both matches against East Bengal FC last season, and the Englishman that this upcoming match won't be any less difficult and underscores the importance of approaching it with caution
“We are trying to get as much information about East Bengal as possible. We watched their game against Jamshedpur. We know it is a tough game, but we respect the opposition regardless of who we play,” Grayson said.
Centre-back Slavko Damjanovic joined head coach Grayson at the pre-match press conference. The 30-year-old echoed the head coach's excitement about returning in front of their home supporters. He firmly believes that his side possesses the required quality and has the potential to secure their first victory of the season against East Bengal FC.
“Personally, first home game, so I'm excited. We need our supporters, and we need to play well and give 100% on the field and get the three points out of this game. The two away games were hard, but we have time to win this and have quality players in the team and I believe we have it in us to win,” said Damjanovic.