Simon Grayson Keen To Build On Positives As Indian Super League Enters Gameweek Two
Kolkata: Bengaluru FC will look to put their opening day defeat behind them when they face Juan Ferrando’s Mohun Bagan Super Giant in an Indian Super League encounter at the Vivekananda Yuba Bharati Krirangan, in Kolkata, on Wednesday. Bengaluru, who went down 2-1 to Kerala Blasters FC in Kochi, will face a Bagan side that ran out 3-1 winners against newly-promoted Punjab FC.
“When you play against good players, you have to defend well not only individually, but collectively as a team and not let them have space, time, opportunities. Good footballers can hurt you and score goals if you allow them that. We’ll also be working on the things that we know can hurt Mohun Bagan as well”, said Bengaluru Head Coach Simon Grayson, speaking to the press on the eve of the fixture.
Over the transfer window, Mohun Bagan have gone on to strengthen their squad in all departments including the high-profile signing of Australian striker Jason Cummings who was on the scoresheet against Punjab, alongside other Indian talents like Sahal Abdul Samad and Anwar Ali.
Grayson, who started with summer signings Ryan Williams and Keziah Veendorp in midfield, will have a selection problem with Javi Hernandez and Curtis Main available to choose from. Main, who came off the bench to find his name on the scoresheet against Kerala, could feature from the start.
“We want to be hard to play, and to show flair and attacking ability to try and hurt the opposition. So it’s going to take the right balance of keeping clean sheets and also asking questions in the attacking third”, added Grayson.
Bengaluru will continue to be without talismanic striker Sunil Chhetri and winger Rohit Danu, who are with the Indian National Team at the Asian Games. Mohun Bagan, meanwhile, will miss the services of former Bengaluru winger Ashique Kuruniyan, who has been ruled out for the long term with a knee injury.
The most recent encounter between these sides was in the summit clash of the 2022-23 ISL season, when the then-ATK Mohun Bagan side edged Grayson’s men 4-3 on penalties at the Fatorda Stadium in Margao earlier this year, in March.
Kick-off between the Blues and MBSG is scheduled for 8 PM IST and will be telecast live on Jio Cinema and across the Sports18 Network.