To beat Mumbai City FC is an unbelievable achievement: Bengaluru FC's Simon Grayson
Bengaluru FC head coach Simon Grayson was proud of his team's performance as the Blues put an end to Mumbai City FC's historic 18-game unbeaten run in the latest fixture of the Hero Indian Super League (ISL) at the Sree Kanteerava Stadium, in Bengaluru, on Wednesday.
The Blues kept their foot on the pedal from the first minute and knocked at the Islanders doors numerous times in the first half that ended 0-0. Suni Chhetri opened the scoring for Grayson's side in the 57th minute from a close-range header from a corner. Javi Hernandez doubled the lead for the home team in the 70th minute. Mourtada Fall brought a goal back for the visitors, but Bengaluru FC held onto the lead to cap off an impeccable victory.
Bengaluru FC handed the first defeat of the season to Des Buckingham's men. Seven wins on the trot have seen them climb up to fourth position in the Hero ISL points table. Meanwhile, the Islanders stay seven points clear at the top after securing the League Shield.
This is Bengaluru. It ends here. WWWWWWWE MARCH ON! 🔥#WeAreBFC #NothingLikeIt #BFCMCFC ⚔️ pic.twitter.com/jpnRhdVmpq— Bengaluru FC (@bengalurufc) February 15, 2023
The Blues are now only one point away from securing a place in the top six. Grayson shed light on the team sticking to their game plan and labelled the victory against Mumbai City FC as an unbelievable achievement.
"We had to stick to our game plan, whether it was Greg (Stewart) or (Alberto) Noguera. We carried out everything that we've worked on the last few days and spoke about in the team talk, we didn't change our plan or anything like that. We just made sure that we carried out what we had asked them to do. And they certainly did that. We showed purpose, passion, good quality. To beat Mumbai City FC is an unbelievable achievement," Grayson said in the official post-match press conference.
In the reverse fixture in November, Mumbai City FC emerged winners with a 4-0 scoreline. Grayson spoke about how his side competed in the reverse fixture and the confidence within the unit at the moment.
"Even when we played them in Mumbai, we played alright in the first half we just made that mistake and allowed them opportunities to play. They knew that they were going to be against a good team, we are full of confidence in ourselves because we got six wins on the trot and our way of playing. I'm really proud of the players and what they've done. What we can't do, we can't get carried away because we still haven't achieved anything," Grayson said.
After losing eight matches out of the first 12 matches, the qualification for the playoffs seemed distant, but the Blues have turned it around magnificently. Grayson explained how things clicked at the right time and everyone needs to keep working hard to achieve what the team set out to do.
"I'd lying if I thought we would win seven games on the trot because it's very difficult to do even if you've had a good start to the season but I always believed that we weren't too far away from it. I kept on saying, If we eradicate the mistakes we make in the back and be a little bit more clinical at the top end of the pitch, then we're not too far away. And it will click at some point and it has recently, we've looked like a threat going forward. When we get any opportunities, they are ending in the back of the net rather than it going out or wandering over the path. We limit the opportunities to the opposition a lot more now. We have to keep working hard to try and achieve what we set out to achieve this summer," Grayson stated.
After defeating Mumbai City FC and Kerala Blasters FC in the last two games, the Blues welcome FC Goa in Bengaluru FC in what will be their penultimate league fixture. Grayson stated how the team needs to stay humble in what they do and put focus on the upcoming game.
"When you just look at the games we've had recently, we have to make sure that we try and keep winning matches and give ourselves an opportunity to be successful this season. So it's been a good starting point to beat Mumbai City FC and Kerala Blasters FC in the last two games. We're very humbled by what we do. Now we do a recovery session tomorrow and then we all get ready for FC Goa next Thursday," Grayson concluded.