A 1-0 loss to ATK Mohun Bagan saw Bengaluru FC ending their unbeaten run of six matches in the 2020/21 season of the Indian Super League. Several old problems for the Blues came to the fore in that loss, especially in attack. The lack of sharpness was mainly due to the absence of Ashique Kuruniyan, who had suffered multiple facial fractures in the game against Odisha FC.
With 2020 drawing to a close, the focus now shifts to Bengaluru FC's final game of the year against Jamshedpur FC. Bengaluru FC coach Carles Cuadrat acknowledged the fact that Jamshedpur FC are a tough team to face. At the same time, he also reminded that the Blues will be fighting for all the points at this critical stage of the ISL season.
"Jamshedpur FC is doing outstanding work, and they deserve to have more points on the table. They have been unlucky with some refereeing decisions and have also conceded some late goals, like the one they conceded in the final moments against FC Goa. I am sure we will be up against a team that is hurting and hungry."
"We have to control Jamshedpur. Their foreigners are getting better with every passing week, and their young Indian players are also doing well. This is the last game of the year, and we will try to keep our good performances going. In the last 11 games, we have only lost twice. That means our team is fighting for points every time. Jamshedpur will be a tough opponent to face, but we have a plan, and we will try to get the three points," the Bengaluru FC head coach added.
Bengaluru FC have been able to stop brilliant strikers before: Carles Cuadrat
In comparison with previous seasons, Jamshedpur FC have managed to give a good account of themselves this season. Last season's Golden Boot winner, Nerijus Valskis has picked up from where he left and already has six goals from eight games. He thus remains a threat for the Blues in their upcoming match.
With Bengaluru FC having conceded eight goals so far, Valskis' presence does give the Blues a reason to worry about. However, Cuadrat remains confident and pointed out that his side has been able to keep top strikers such as Coro and Bartholomew Ogbeche at bay.
"We have been able to stop brilliant strikers before. (Ferran) Corominas and (Bartholomew) Ogbeche only scored from penalties against us. We do take risks with our high defensive line but it is all part of our plan."
Ashique Kuruniyan will recover in Kerala
Cuadrat also gave an update on Ashique Kuruniyan's injury and said that he has travelled to Kerala, where he will recover.
"Ashique finished his surgery in Bengaluru and traveled to Kerala, where he will now recover and spend time with his family. It is difficult to confirm how many weeks it will take for his recovery. We had a phone conversation after his surgery and he is in a positive mood," signed off the Bengaluru FC coach.Published 27 Dec 2020, 18:19 IST