With three draws and just one win in the opening four matches, this has not been an ideal start to the Indian Super League season for Bengaluru FC. However, coach Carles Cuadrat is aiming to get his side back on track when they host Kerala Blasters at the Fatorda Stadium, on Sunday.
Bengaluru have a great track record against Kerala. In six games, they have prevailed on four occasions and lost just one. But that is the past and Cuadrat’s side aren’t in the best of form, with their last game against NorthEast United ending in a 2-2 draw.
Bengaluru started the campaign with a 3-4-3 formation, which wasn’t conducive to their style forcing Cuadrat to deploy a four-man defence. The change in plan has helped Bengaluru bring out best in Dimas Delgado and Udanta Sing.
“It was not working well for us at the moment but it can work well in the future. We have a plan B and C. We came back to a 4-3-3 and it helped us to get more offensive,” explained Cuadrat.
The Bengaluru coach sounded confident of his side getting back on track and added, “We have to be mentally and physically strong. Some teams had a longer pre-season but are not able to take three points.”
The former ISL champions have netted 80% of their goals (4) from set-pieces this season and this could pose a threat to Kerala whose defence has been the most vulnerable in the league. They are yet to keep a clean sheet against BFC. This season, Kerala Blasters have conceded six goals (second-most), despite facing just 13 shots on target.
Coach Kibu Vicuna addressed that concern. “We are working and hoping that in the next game, everything is going to be better. We didn’t think we will get two points in four games but sometimes it happens,” he said.
“We are trying different possibilities. We are trying to improve. We have to improve in the last third. We have to be brave and work better and hard. We have confidence, we know we have a good team and players,” he said, further adding that they would need to improve in the final third to get the goals.
Kerala will miss the injured Sergio Cidoncha, who has left for Spain for his recovery programme.