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BFC hope to maintain winning momentum

Bengaluru: Having notched up their first win of the Indian Super League (ISL) season against East Bengal last time out, Bengaluru FC will be keen to carry that winning momentum forward as they take on an in-form FC Goa at the Sree Kanteerava Stadium here on Wednesday.

BFC endured a challenging start, returning empty handed from daunting away matches against Kerala Blasters and Mohun Bagan, before successfully turning things around against East Bengal.

But their job is easier said than done asGoa have been firing on all cylinders under new coach Manolo Marquez, beginning their campaign with three wins from as many games. The Gaurs are currently perched second in the ISL table.

With quality summer signings and youngsters ably filling in for big-name departures, the Gaurs look a well-oiled machine.

However, taking on BFC on their home turf is a challenge to the best of opponents as echoed by Blues coach Simon Grayson in the pre-match press conference.

“We bounce off the supporters. The players are going to show heart and desire, and that’ll make it an exciting game for sure.”

“He (Manolo Marquez) has said that his team are a work in progress too. It’s still early in the season. We’re respectful of them, we know their strengths and weaknesses and hopefully we can get a good result.”

The Indian internationals, who were away for the Merdeka Cup, have returned to training, and Grayson has a full squad to choose from, with Suresh Wangjam and Naorem Roshan Singh returning from suspensions.

“The international boys are all good. It has allowed us to get a few boys back fit and we’re all ready to go. It was a mixture of all the things we need in training, to get us up to the fitness levels to make sure we’re in the right path going into this game,” said Grayson.

His opposite number Marquez guarded his side against complacency, “Against Odisha FC, even when we scored in the 96th minute, they had a chance after that. We’ve enough football in us to avoid these kinds of situations,” said the Goa gaffer .

An interesting sub plot is the return of two former Blues — Udanta Singh and Sandesh Jhingan — to their old home grounds, though they will be wearing Orange jerseys this time.

Match starts at 8pm

(Published 24 October 2023, 17:27 IST)

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