BENGALURU: Bengaluru FC was well below par in the Indian Super League last season, finishing seventh with just five wins under the belt. With the high standards that they have set for themselves, it was a major failure. However, the Blues will be eager to come up with a much better, improved performance this season under Marco Pezzaiuoli. They are set to start their ISL campaign against NorthEast United FC at the GMC Athletic Stadium in Bambolim, Goa, on Saturday.
After the appointment of Pezzaiuoli as coach last season, he watched the last few games of Bengaluru from the stands, hence he is not too new to these players. In fact, they come into the ISL with two months of preparation in Bellary. Besides overseeing the club at the AFC Cup, they have also played some friendlies in the pre-season of late and the gaffer made it clear that they are looking to improve upon last season.
“We're all very motivated for this season. We have a good mixture of both Indian and foreign players,” said Pezzaiuoli. “Last season, BFC were not really successful, that is why we need to change something. It takes time, you can't switch on the lights and say that we are BFC. We will be trying to do our best every game. Our team will be fighting to get all three points. And then we will see what will happen at the end of the season. I promise you the plan is to be better than we were in the last season.”
Bengaluru have a decent mix of players in the squad. Their foreign players include Cleiton Silva, Prince Ibara among others while the likes of Udanta Singh, Ashique Kuruniyan, Gurpreet Singh Sandhu, Sunil Chhetri are the big Indian names. Though Bengaluru have some top players, NorthEast, who reached the semifinals of the league last season, will be a difficult team to beat.
“NorthEast United is a strong team, they made the semi-final last year. They have kept their main players, which means we face a team with a strong mentality. They are compact too. We have to do well in defence and not give our opponent too much chance. They have (Deshorn) Brown, who has scored goals for them and we should not give him much space,” said Pezzaiuoli.