Have to make the chances count against Hyderabad FC: Bengaluru FC’s Marco Pezzaiuoli

Bengaluru FC head coach Marco Pezzaiuoli is looking to target a top-four finish and keep the winning momentum going against Hyderabad FC in the Hero Indian Super League (ISL) at Athletic Stadium, Bambolim on Friday.

The Blues witnessed a major overhaul when they climbed and breached the top-four in the league standings with a nine-match unbeaten streak, taking everyone by storm.

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

Here are the excerpts from the coach's press conference.

Hyderabad FC are on top of the table but lost their last match. How do you approach this fixture?

We're looking at ourselves because we're unbeaten in nine games. We've won our last few games, and we're in a better condition after quarantine. We got ten points from the last four games, which has been a good return that has given us confidence. 

They lost their last game, which is an important point because it helps us spot some weaknesses. Our thinking is to not give them more chances. They have good offence. We need to be very compact. They are a very good team in transition, fast players in the offensive areas and Ogbeche is the man in the box, so we need to avoid counters.

We need to play our game, just like our last game against Hyderabad, where we dominated the second half. We'll have to make sure we make the chances count.

Ogbeche has been a threat so far, do you have any special plans for him?

We don’t go into man-to-man marking. We try to close our players down, and in the box, we try to be very sharp. But not only one player, like Ogbeche, we need to be tight on the man with possession because others can score too. It's not a one-man job, it's the job of the team as a unit.

What are the injury updates from the team?

Ashique (Kuruniyan) is back working with the team, but he's far away from a return. (Yrondu Musavu) King, Amay (Ranawade) and Harmanpreet (Singh) are out for the season, and Rohit is also injured after the last game. We had a few players back from COVID, but they are still weak, so it will take them time.

Yaya (Banana) is now with the squad, he has trained a few times, but it's not easy after quarantine. We need to manage the players to avoid muscle injuries from coming back to playing football.

How important is this match considering you are on a nine-match unbeaten streak?

I think every game is important, from day one in the League. We don't change rituals in the daily programme or tactic-wise or in the preparation. This is an important game, just like every other game. We want to be close to the top four. That’s why we are working on this. We really need to invest a lot against them because they are a really good team. Hyderabad have a chance to pick up three big points, and it's the same for us and we will fight for it.

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