Bengaluru FC head coach Marco Pezzaiuoli feels his team will need to be sharp against ATK Mohun Bagan in the AFC Cup Ground South Zone clash, which will take place at the National football stadium in Maldives.
The Sunil Chhetri-led team defeated Maldvian side Eagles FC by 1-0 in play-off tie on Sunday to qualify for the group stage. Jayesh Rane had scored for the Blues in the 26th minute of the game.
Bengaluru FC head coach added that the win against Eagles FC will give a lot of confidence to the players but they will need to be at the top of their game against a potent team like the Mariners. In fact, ATK Mohun Bagan had won both their league stage matches against Bengaluru FC by 1-0 and 2-0 in the previous season of the Hero Indian Super League.
“Our last game was only two days ago, so it was a short recovery for the team. It’s not really an advantage, but I can see the glass either as half empty or half full, and I choose to see it half full. There was a good spirit and positive energy in the team after the win.
“We are happy to be in the Group Stage of this competition. This is a new game, a new start and we have renewed focus. We need to be very sharp against ATK Mohun Bagan because I am expecting an aggressive game,” Pezzaiuoli, who has won both his games in charge so far at Bengaluru FC, said at the pre-match press conference.
Meanwhile, ATK Mohun Bagan have made seven new signings after losing the final against Mumbai City FC. On the other hand, Bengaluru FC have signed nine new players ahead of the next season. Pezzaiuoli added that his team will need to come up with a better approach against a top side.
“ATK Mohun Bagan like to play a lot of long passes, go for the second ball and press high up on the pitch, which calls for a different approach from us. But they have also changed things in the summer by bringing in a French foreigner [Boumous], among other players. This shows that they want to win the [Hero] Indian Super League [Hero ISL] and the AFC Cup. We have to be in good spirits, show good focus and I am certain that we have a chance of winning tomorrow,” he said.
The match will begin at 4:30 PM IST.