Bengaluru FC head coach Marco Pezzaiuoli was impressed with the mentality and fight the Blues displayed in their final outing of the Hero Indian Super League (ISL) 2021-22 season, beating SC East Bengal (1-0) while also revealing the future targets for the club.

Sunil Chhetri scored the winner that helped his side finish on sixth in the league tables with 29 points, a seven-point improvement from last season which the head coach regarded as a ‘small step’ in the right direction.

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Pezzaiuoli addressed the media after the game. Here are some excerpts from his press conference:

Seven points more than last season, is that a small step in the right direction?

I think it is a small step. As a coach, you want to reach the highest possibility every time which is to win the league and the second is to be in the top-four which we did not reach. One positive is that we scored seven points more than last season but the big issue was the first six games, we lost to be in the top-four of the competition. Because in the last 14 games, we have scored 25 points and add four-five points more, then you’re in the top four. Today’s win is a positive. We are looking forward to the next season.

Would you have enjoyed more goals in today’s match?

We are at the end of the season, we didn’t reach the top four but players showed a strong mentality, kept fighting till the end. Some players got minor injuries, we had to replace them early today. I wanted to bring young players inside but it got really difficult.

You’ve completed one whole year now, where do you see the progress?

In the beginning, we showed our process, we had good games which we dominated but we had individual mistakes of not scoring goals, that is what we missed. But our playing style, how we played forward, how we pressed and our ball possession was better in the second half of the tournament. In the set-pieces, we are really strong. Roshan is one who came out of the reserve team but in the end, he made the first cut to come into ISL and now has received a national call-up in the camp. These are the small steps.

Are there any targets set for the club in the next two years?

We want to reach a step higher than this year. We want to be in the top four and win the league. Many teams were changing this year with new coaches and players, better teams than last year, the level goes up and teams play more often. It is not easy, you need to invest. There were six to seven teams who wanted to reach the top four and we want to be there in the next season.

Are there some plans to strategise for the next season?

First, it is important to retain our players, extend their contracts and ensure that we have our young players for the long term. We did already a couple of transfers, some Indian players will come in but now we need to analyse what we can do more. I want to wish our supporters a good time, good health at this time and hopefully, see them in stadiums next season.