We have to change fine margins in favor of us: Bengaluru FC's Simon Grayson
Bengaluru FC head coach Simon Grayson asked for a strong mentality from his team to change the fine margins that are going against them at this moment in their favour as Bengaluru FC host Jamshedpur FC at the Sree Kanteerava stadium in Bengaluru in the Hero Indian Super League (ISL) on Saturday.
Both teams are coming after back-to-back loses, but Jamshedpur FC are on a six-match winless streak. The Blues head coach didn't see this clash as an easy one for them and hoped it would be a difficult game as any other fixture against top teams.
Grayson addressed the media in the pre-match press conference. The gaffer also gave the injury updates, spoke about the standards of the league as general, and more.
Here are the excerpts from Grayson's press conference:
You had time to reflect on the last game. You mentioned there were some silly mistakes, So any specific things you need to rectify in the Saturday match?
Well, we've talked a lot as a group, with my staff, with my players collectively, but as individuals as well. I have been having meetings and showing clips to the players as well the last few days. There are reasons for the defeat, mistakes, potentially but also we didn't play with the energy that we've played in the previous two games. But ultimately, we have to reflect on every game that we were involved in and be better and again.
I think we have to have a more positive attitude in terms of everything that we do, running with the ball, running without it, passing the ball with a purpose and having a strong mentality to change the small fine margins that are going against us at this moment in time into winning margins, which will then increase the confidence that (would make players) to believe more and more positive results.
Jamshedpur FC is coming after successive losses, do you think is it an advantage for Bengaluru FC?
Well, it's two teams, they're not in very good form. I think Jamshedpur FC is a fine example of football is never easy, the reigning champions have found it really tough this year for many different reasons. Our football club has been very successful for many, many years and have found it difficult the last few years and football clubs have highs and lows.
And at this moment of time, both clubs are in the wrong position where they want to be as a football club and I have a lot of respect for Jamshedpur FC and a lot of respect for Aidy Boothroyd but I'm more concerned of what I need to do to get the best out of our group of players to get back to winning ways and if we can get a couple of good performances like we did against FC Goa, like we did against ATK Mohun Bagan, then we can go on a good run because we have got some very, very good quality players on our books and those players don't become average to poor players overnight.
As Jamshedpur FC is not in good form as against Kerala Blasters FC or ATK Mohun Bagan, is there any more pressure to face Jamshedpur FC?
Well, I think there's pressure for every team that is involved in every league around the world if you are at the top of the division like Mumbai City FC, Hyderabad FC, there is pressure on you to win games to stay at the top. You're down near the bottom, there is pressure on you to win games to get away from the bottom. So we've got to concentrate fully and focus on this one game regardless of who we play, we could be playing Hyderabad FC or Mumbai City FC on Saturday. We have to make sure we're fully focused on doing the best that we can with the ball, without the ball getting back to winning ways.
In the start of the season, you could have a plan but after these nine games, does the plan change?
Well, after nine games, after a pretty seasonal Durand Cup, I did expect it to have more points and to be a lot higher up in the table given the success that we had, the confidence that we had and the players that we had available to us. Things have conspired at times. We’ve not had our full allocation of foreigners available. We've had injuries on a regular basis. You saw last week, Bruno Ramires and Udanta Singh missed the game. We've had other people, so a lot of things have contributed to why we are where we are. We have to just keep working at it.
Are we capable of getting into the playoffs? Yes, but we have to concentrate on this game now and then after Jamshedpur FC, we can concentrate on Hyderabad FC because that's all we can affect. The longer term picture will take care of itself, if we control and take care of the short term.
You mentioned you knew about Aidy Boothroyd since your time in England, what you know about his team apart from what you have seen in India, the way he set up his team?
He will be very organised and study a lot of our games and look at how we play. But regardless of knowing each other, he will be doing whatever he can to make sure that they stop the rot of losing football matches because Jamshedpur FC haven't been used in the last year or so.
Anybody wants to win matches, but when you lose matches, you gotta do whatever you can to stop there and that's what Aidy Boothroyd would be desperate to do. But our friendship will certainly go out the window from half past 5 till 7 o'clock. When I win the game, I'll buy him the drink afterwards. He is my fellow Yorkshire man as well.
We talked about the team getting punished for some simple mistakes. Do you think Hero ISL as a league has improved?
I think anybody can beat anybody in the games and the fine margins happening in the game. On Thursday, as well in the Odisha FC game, how the lad misses the header, how the keeper saves it or misses it. They're fine margins of between winning the game and drawing the game and that's what happened to them.
From what I've seen of Indian football, all the clubs have got stronger and better, not just through the foreign players. But when the Indian boys are getting a lot better and that's why it's so tight in the division that anybody can still beat anybody and that somebody has only been there five six months compared to somebody who's been here for all his life.