We backed up the talk of getting back-to-back wins: Bengaluru FC’s Grayson

Bengaluru FC head coach Simon Grayson was filled with praise for his players after full-time as his side overcame Odisha FC in an emphatic 3-1 victory in Matchweek 15 of the Hero Indian Super League (ISL) 2022-23 at the Sree Kanteerava Stadium, in Bengaluru, on Saturday.

The Blues opened the scoring with two quick goals from Rohit Kumar and Roy Krishna within a span of three minutes. In the second half, Diego Mauricio converted from the spot to reduce the deficit for his side only for Blues’ substitute Pablo Perez to put the game to bed late in added time.

With this win, Bengaluru FC remained in the eighth position in the league standings but the three points have provided a huge boost in their pursuit for the playoff spot. Grayson commented on how the depth in his squad played a critical role in the team’s win.

“We've got more options available at this moment of time, the first time in a long time that we've got that type of creativity to come off the bench at crucial times. It was great for Pablo (Perez) to get his first goal, obviously great for Roy (Krishna) to get his first goal in a long time. But it was a game that really should have been over at half-time, 3-0 when Javi (Hernandez) missed his chance, and then we made it really difficult to give them away a penalty,” stated Grayson in the official post-match press conference.

Grayson’s men had more shots than their opposition, taking a total of 12 shots out of which five landed on the target. The head coach expressed how his side got themselves back in the game with the first two goals that shaped the rest of the game. 

“I didn't think we started the game very well. The first 20 minutes, they dominated us. We were a little bit off the pace, we didn't stop them from playing out of possession, in possession, we gave it away for too cheaply, and they stopped us from playing as well. So you give them credit,” he said.

“It's not about the team, really, the individuals that are put out there to start the game or the ones who came off the bench. When players have had opportunities, like Rohit (Kumar) had to wait a long time for his chance, and he's grasping for the last two games. It'd be nice if we can just go through a game where we don't make it really difficult for ourselves, and I can enjoy myself on the bench, but (I) suppose that's never gonna happen,” he added.

It was a win of firsts for Bengaluru FC as they picked up their first back-to-back win of the season - having defeated NorthEast United FC in their previous game - alongside scoring three goals for the first time.

“The biggest positive was that we backed up the talk of we have to get back-to-back wins and we've won at home again, and that's a massive positive for us.”

Grayson highlighted how the team fought their way until tonight to register their fifth win of the season and wants his side to keep the same level until the end. 

“There is a spirit about the players in a really good group, even through tough times recently that when we've not been winning and playing well, we've all stuck together and dug deep. Hopefully we'll come out the other side. And we've always said that until it's mathematically impossible, we'll keep going to the very end because that's the very least this football club deserves,” he said.

Bengaluru FC started out with three foreign players in their team, which has been the case for most of the games this season. Grayson elaborated on how the option of choosing another foreign player from the squad makes a difference in his side whilst also mentioning about maximising the opportunities given to every player.

“Yeah, certainly. I think we're still not able to have six foreigners on the bench this season and that's been tough. Alek (Aleksandar Jovanovic) got injured on Thursday, which allowed Sandesh (Jhingan) to come back into the team,Bruno (Ramires) isn’t too far away. So, it was nice to be able to have a full allocation, part of football, you deal with it,” he said.

"I will say that anybody who goes into the team has an opportunity to stay in it, whether you're Indian or a foreign boy, you do whatever you can to stay in that team. There's been some good performances from the Indian boys without a shadow of a doubt and grasp an opportunity when it comes your way, Rohit’s a fine example, he's done that again tonight,” he added.

The Blues, on Friday, announced the departure of CEO Mandar Tamhane, who resigned from the club with immediate effect. Having been a part of the club since its inception in 2013, Grayson dedicated the win to Tamhane for his contributions to the club.

“I think a lot of players want to dedicate this Mandar Tamhane because he's been a massive impact on this football club and we did say before the game if luck plays a big part, let's try and win it for Mandar as well. He's gonna leave the football club with his head held high and people move on but it was nice for him to go out on a positive note for all that he's done for this football club,” he concluded.

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