We’ve got to be more ruthless, more clinical: Bengaluru FC's Simon Grayson
Bengaluru FC head coach Simon Grayson stated his team deserved the victory as the Blues snatched all three points in the dying minutes of the match to beat NorthEast United FC in the latest fixture of the Hero Indian Super League (ISL) 2022-23 at the Indira Gandhi Athletic Stadium in Guwahati on Friday.
A cagey first half set up the match for a beautiful finish as Sivasakthi Narayananan opened the scoring for Bengaluru FC in the 50th minute. Romain Philippoteaux bagged the equaliser for the Highlanders in the 66th minute, only for Grayson’s men to take home all three points thanks to an injury-time goal from Alan Costa.
Grayson shed light on how his team needs to be more ruthless and convert their chances instead of leaving it late. With the win, Bengaluru FC completed the double over the Highlanders with late winning goals coming from Alan Costa in both fixtures.
"I thought we played well again tonight. Good in possession we've got to some good areas probably times, it has summed up our season. We're getting to the final attacking area and we just make the wrong decision or don't have the composure to get a good cross or the right pass or ultimately shoot when we should be shooting. Javi Hernandez has got a fantastic left foot and turns down three or four chances to shoot when he's inside the 18-yard box. So we've got to be more ruthless, more clinical. And it was again that we deserved to win but we made it very difficult for ourselves and we'd have been hugely disappointed if we had not won again tonight,” Grayson stated in the post-match press conference.
After an impressive Durand Cup triumph, Bengaluru FC have failed to carry on the winning form in the Hero ISL with the Blues sitting in the eighth position on the Hero ISL points table with four wins, eight losses and one draw. Grayson reiterated the team needs to be better at decision-making which has been the difference between them and the top teams from the league.
“We've got some good players on paper, at the top end of the pitch but we've not been sure of the composure, the quality that the players have got and their decision-making as well. So that's a big part, you look at the teams that are at the top and they're making good decisions. They're ruthless when they get into that final third. I think the structure of our team is good, defensively we look very sound and we make a few mistakes. Well, that's just football but we need to be better at the top end of the pitch," Grayson stated.
"We knew that we had to play well defensively in terms of our possession, but when we get the ball make sure we're very confident and of the quality and ask questions of the opposition regardless whoever you're playing, that's what we've tried to do and that has led us down probably again tonight where we made hard work of a game that we really were 60 odd percent possession and loads of shots. We weren't ruthless enough and that is probably where we've been all season, unfortunately," he added.
Grayson also acknowledged the support of Bengaluru FC fans who made the trip to Guwahati.
"This is a long way from Bengaluru and (it is) fantastic to see the number of supporters we had. To be fair I think everyone's expected nobody but it's great. So getting the victory tonight is a joint victory for us as a staff and players, but ultimately for the supporters as well who've made the journey and the ones that are back in the city and watching because we haven't won as many matches we would like to have done this season. There are still games left in the season that we can certainly still win. And we've got to keep trying to win as many games as possible until the season finishes." Grayson said.
The Bengaluru FC head coach was delighted with performances of youngsters Sivasakthi Narayananan and Rohit Kumar who started the game. Narayanan, who scored the opener, started ahead of Sunil Chettri in attack.
"Players have come into the team tonight that maybe weren't expecting to be in the starting eleven have done really well. The youngsters Siva (Sivasakhti Narayanan) and Rohit (Kumar) in particular,” he said.