We will stick together and fight as a team: Bengaluru FC’s Gerard Zaragoza
Bengaluru FC head coach Gerard Zaragoza shared his thoughts ahead of their next home game against Jamshedpur FC.
Bengaluru FC head coach Gerard Zaragoza urged his players to establish their dominance in the game as the Blues will face Jamshedpur FC in their eleventh match of the Indian Super League (ISL) at Sree Kanteerava Stadium in Bengaluru on Saturday.
It will be Zaragoza's first game in charge of the Blues as the head coach. Although Bengaluru FC has been going through a difficult phase in the ongoing season, securing a single win out of ten matches, they will be looking to bounce back under their new head coach. They are unbeaten in the last four meetings against Jamshedpur FC and aim to capitalize on that form.
The Spaniard anticipates a tough challenge from the Men of Steel, considering the opposition might take advantage of Bengaluru FC's difficult situation. He urges his players to stick to their plans and display their fighting spirit as a cohesive unit.
“We have to respect Jamshedpur FC because they will fight too. They know this is not a good time for our club, but we will stick together and fight as a team,” Zaragoza stated in the pre-match press conference.
Zaragoza emphasizes the importance of his players focusing on one game at a time. He highlighted how the Blues made a remarkable turnaround to secure their spot in the final despite a challenging start in the ISL 2022–23 season.
He further expresses his belief that they can replicate such a turnaround this time as well.
“I am not thinking about next season; it's about going game by game, three points by three points,” he said.
“We've seen what happened with Bengaluru FC last year. We are not talking about a normal club; we are talking about Bengaluru FC. We need the hearts of our supporters, and we will change this,” he added.
While discussing his playing style, Zaragoza explained that he aims to inspire his players with an offensive brand of football. However, he also emphasized the importance of organizing his team's defensive solidity and offensive prowess to showcase their resilience against the opponent.
“I'm Catalan. We like the offensive style of football, but it's about momentum,” he stated.
“Right now, we need to organize in defence and attack. I don't talk about numbers, because they change during games. I like to play with three in the middle, but sometimes we attack with three at the back, and sometimes it will be with one striker and three or four arriving. We need to dominate the game,” he signed off.
This is the start of a new era: Sunil Chhetri
Captain Sunil Chhetri accompanied the head coach ahead of their next home match against Jamshedpur FC. Chhetri acknowledged that all the players would do their best to find stability under their new head coach and rectify their mistakes.
“We're waiting for stability, and this is the start of a new era,” he stated.
“From our part, as players, we'll do what we can to make sure this stability comes. I genuinely want that. Because we've reached a point where it hurts,” Chhetri added.
“It hurts to see where we are, and we are responsible for it. The best part is that only we can rectify it. We'll do all we can to make sure that happens,” he continued.
Chhetri is overwhelmed to witness the unconditional love of the supporters for their club through thick and thin. He also shared how the supporters motivated them despite losing to the Islanders by a significant 4-0 scoreline (Bengaluru FC’s biggest loss at home).
“These fans have been amazing. We lost 4-0 to Mumbai City FC, and they were shouting our names. It was unbelievable. They didn't do it because it was a gimmick. They've done it now; they've done it in the past. The appeal is now inside the dressing room. We want to give them something back,” he said.
“It's just one day with the coach, but we want to bring the fight. Even if it's just one supporter in the stands tomorrow, we will fight, and we want them to leave with the thought that 'that team fought for us',” Chhetri concluded.