We can’t influence other teams’ points, we must focus on ourselves: Bengaluru FC's Marco Pezzaiuoli

Bengaluru FC head coach Marco Pezzaiuoli has urged his team to show more personality as they begin the final stretch of matches when they take on NorthEast United FC in match 94 of the Hero Indian Super League (ISL) 2021-22 at PJN Stadium in Margao, on Friday.

Bengaluru FC are sixth in the points table with 23 points in 16 matches. They are only a couple of points away from breaking into the top four.

Bengaluru FC lost 2-1 against Hyderabad FC in their last match. This defeat ended their nine-game unbeaten run. BFC had only one shot on target in the match. Although they had more possession than HFC.

Ahead of the Bengaluru FC’s match against NorthEast United FC, coach Pezzaiuoli addressed the media during the official pre-match press conference.

Here are the excerpts from the press conference.

How hard is the semi-final race this time and how important is Friday’s match?

It’s not only this game, every game is important in football. The next game is the most important game every time. As I told you in the beginning of the season, there are a lot of teams who can make it into the top four, which makes the league so interesting. For us, we can’t influence other teams’ points, we can only focus on ourselves. We need to have more personality on the pitch, especially with defending the box.

What are your thoughts on NorthEast United FC?

I think they are a good offensive team with good players who have good individual skills. They brought in some new players. We know how we played in the first game against them, obviously they are not the same team. They created chances in that game and that's something we want to avoid. We also need to be more focused than the last game against Hyderabad FC in the first half. Also, we don’t want to let them breathe. I think if you let them breathe they can make it difficult for the opponent.

How’s the mood in the camp?

Honestly, everybody's waiting for the end of the season because they want to leave the bubble. I have to be honest about this. We want to do the most we can do, and that's to reach the top four and then the final. The mood is good on the pitch, everyone's focused when they need to be and laughing and enjoying their football. We have our targets and we will continue to work towards them until the end of the season.

We saw Yaya coming on as a substitute in the last game. What are the chances of him starting tomorrow?

He has now trained seven day with us. Before the last game he trained for one and a half days with us. It was a low intensity session for him. We have to be careful about him because he had a 11 day quarantine period. We need to prepare him for the next steps. He can create an overload in midfield and is very good defensively.

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