Bengaluru FC head coach Simon Grayson admitted they got to be better after losing their opening match of the Hero Indian Super League 2023-24 season against Kerala Blasters FC by 2-1 at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium, Kochi on Thursday.
The previous season’s runners-up could not come up with a collective effort and it led to their downfall. Grayson also admitted they started both halves poorly and gave away the ball cheaply, which resulted in their loss.
Keziah Veendrop scored an own goal in the 52nd minute whereas Adrian Luna doubled the hosts’ lead after an error from Gurpreet Singh Sandhu. Curtis Main scored in the final minute of the game for the Blues but it was not enough to stage any sort of a comeback.
Grayson also admitted it was difficult to be 100% ready for the opening match of the season as they are missing some key players and also lacked proper preparation.
“I don’t think any team will be 100% ready for the first game of the season because you are still getting up to the tempo of a really competitive game. Pre-season games did not really serve a purpose but when you go amongst a big crowd and the first game of the season, I have seen it everywhere ofcourse first few games take a bit of bedding in.”
“But, saying that we know we gotta be better. We started the game poorly, and gave the ball away far too cheaply which is something we have worked a lot on over the pre-season weeks… then we started the second half poorly, gave the goal away, and gave them the lift. Then, we make a big mistake for the second goal and that sort of makes it really difficult but credit to the players who kept going.” the tactician added suggesting that his team made too many unforced errors.
Meanwhile, Bengaluru FC veteran goalkeeper Gurpreet Singh Sandhu made the mistake of giving the ball cheaply to Adrian Luna, which led to the home side’s second goal.
Speaking on the same, the Englishman said, “I think he is old enough, experienced enough, and wise enough to know that he has made a mistake. Goalkeepers, when they make a mistake, get punished a lot and it puts us on the back foot. It was a big mistake there is no hiding away from that and Gurpreet will be the first to admit that. All you do now is learn from any mistake whether it is an outfield player or a goalkeeper then you make sure you don’t do it again.”
Bengaluru FC will play their second match of the season against reigning champion Mohun Bagan Super Giant FC on 27th September.