Bengaluru FC head coach Simon Grayson was content after they shared a point with NorthEast United FC with a 1-1 draw in the Indian Super League (ISL) match at the Indira Gandhi Athletic Stadium in Guwahati on Sunday.
Sunil Chhetri opened the scoring for the Blues as he scored from a spot kick in the 36th minute. However, Aleksandar Jovanovic scored an own goal in the first-half stoppage time to equalize for the Highlanders.
“When you don’t win a game, the next best thing is a draw,” Grayson stated in the post-match press conference. “We weren’t surprised that NorthEast (United FC) can play because they played very well. They’ve got some really exciting wingers; they’ve got some good centre-forwards, a nice way of playing. It was always going to be a difficult game for us, but we started the game poorly, but we came through that.”
The Englishman admitted it was a tough game for them as the opposition brought their best. The Blues took four shots on target but could not convert their chances. In fact, the visitors had 57% possession but failed to make the most of it.
“This was a tough game for us tonight. And Northeast United FC have shown what they’re capable of doing. Completely different team to last year, as in both on and off the pitch, and they had some really attacking players and good options. And, if you can’t win a game, you make sure you don’t get beat,” Grayson noted.
The gaffer was happy that they were able to get a point out of the game. Bengaluru FC have managed a solitary win out of the seven matches they have played and they have three draws and as many losses.
“Positive that we got another point,” he said. “I think after the couple of opportunities that they had; we could have been down in the game at half-time. We stuck in there and it wasn’t one of our best performances, but it was another point for us.”
“Of course, we want to win three points, but not playing with the same confidence that we had for the second half of last season because of maybe the results that we’ve played,” he continued. “But I think every player needs to probably up the game a little bit both in possession and out of possession, and hopefully, we can get into a run now of positivity. And confidence-wise, we’ve only had two games at home. We said we’ve got four out of the next five at home, which is something to really build on because the fortress, the Kanteerava, is where we got a lot of results, and we did that last year as well,” he concluded.
Bengaluru FC will next take on Punjab FC at the Sree Kanteerava Stadium on Thursday.