Bengaluru FC Keen To Put Behind Weekend Loss As Gaffer Brands Pune Side ‘Tough Opponents’
Bengaluru: Ashley Westwood said he was expecting a big response from his Bengaluru FC side who take on new League entrants DSK Shivajians at the Kanteerava Stadium, in Bengaluru, on Wednesday. The Blues suffered a blip over the weekend going down 2-1 to Sporting Clube de Goa at home and the gaffer believes his team will look to put the disappointment behind them with a strong show against the Derrick Pereira-coached team from Pune.
“I’m expecting a big response from the team. There was no shortage of words after the last game about for what I thought why and how it went wrong and a few people were handed some honest criticism. But I’m sure they will react in the right way because we’ve got some good professionals at the club,” said Westwood while speaking to the press on Tuesday.
While DSK garnered their first win of the season – a 1-0 result over Mumbai FC on Sunday – Westwood felt his opposition has begun stitching a rhythm. “They are a new side and are finding their feet. But they’ve now been through enough games to understand the style their coach wants them to play in and it was evident in the result they got against Mumbai. We’ve done our homework on them and I can tell you that they will be tough opponents. They have dangerous players who can score goals in Douhou Pierre and Amiri and we’ve played enough against Derrick to understand his philosophies.”
The gaffer hinted at fielding a few changes given the Blues will be playing the second of three games within a seven-day period. “We’ll pick the right team after seeing who is fresh. Nowhere in the world can anyone play the same XI for three games within seven days. We have a few on the team with some knocks and there will be a few fitness tests before we pick the XI we deem best,” he said.
Pereira, meanwhile, said that DSK have a couple of doubtful starters in Nikhil Kadam and Justin Stephen who have traveled with the team while striker Aser Dipanda has stayed back in Pune.
New signing Michael Collins was handed his debut against Sporting and the No.8 did enough to show the experience he brings to the team, even coming close to scoring on one occasion when his rasping drive flew past the goal by only a bit. “Michael’s a leader and I am sure he will find his voice as he gets more games under his belt and manage things in a better way for us on the field” said Westwood.