Monday , December 5 2022

Bengaluru FC look to turn curve at Mumbai City FC!

Bengaluru FC head coach Simon Grayson maintained that the belief and positivity within his team was intact, as they look to put a sluggish start behind them with a clash against Mumbai City FC at the Mumbai Football Arena on Thursday. The Blues have won just one of their five encounters thus far, going down 0-1 to Hyderabad FC, Odisha FC and East Bengal FC in consecutive fixtures.

“When you’ve won just one game out of five and drawn the other one, if you ask any of the players, they’ll all tell you that they’re not playing to the best of their abilities. It’s not that they’re not confident. I believe in my players, and they believe in themselves. Together, with hard work, we know that we can turn this around,” said Grayson, speaking to the media on the eve of the game.

Bengaluru FC have scored just twice in the League so far; goals from Alan Costa and Roy Krishna that came in their opening two encounters of the campaign. The Islanders, meanwhile, have scored 16 times in just six games; the most of any team in the Division.

“Mumbai (City) are a team with a good mix of foreign and Indian players, and we respect them as a unit. We’re playing against an excellent side that had a fantastic result at the weekend. But as much as we can talk about them, we have to focus on ourselves. We have to do what we can to go from getting close to winning matches to actually winning them,” Grayson added.

Victory for the Blues will take them to seven points, two behind Odisha FC, who occupy the final playoff spot. Des Buckingham’s Mumbai City side meanwhile, with 12 points, are four behind League leaders Hyderabad FC. The two sides last faced off in the final of the 2022 Durand Cup in Kolkata, where Bengaluru FC ran away 2-1 winners with goals from Alan Costa and Sivasakthi Narayanan.

“As I’ve said before, we’ll be taking bits from past encounters, even the one in the Durand Cup, but it’s not anything major. What I will say is that we have beaten them, and that we can draw confidence from that. On the reverse, I’m sure the Mumbai team will be saying we owe them one for beating them in the final. It works both ways,” the Englishman said.

Kick-off between Mumbai City FC and Bengaluru FC is scheduled for 7.30pm, and will be telecast live on the STAR Sports network, Disney+Hotstar and JioTV.

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