Shivajians test awaits Bengaluru

Shivajians test awaits Bengaluru

Faced with a sudden slump in form after a bright start, reigning champions Bengaluru FC take on DSK Shivajians in an I-League fixture at the Balewadi Stadium here tomorrow.

Bengaluru FC kicked off their I-League campaign with three wins in a row. After that, they lost back-to-back matches against East Bengal and Churchill Brothers before suffering a 1-2 defeat at the hands of Al Wehdat of Jordan in Amman in their AFC Champions League qualifying round preliminary stage 2 tie.

Albert Roca's players no doubt are a bit low in their confidence and they need to quickly come out of this slump.

Asked about the sudden nosedive of Bengaluru FC's form, Roca said, "We had phases in the games against East Bengal and Churchill where we switched off and ended up paying the price for it. But against Wehdat, we worked on a few things and I'm proud of the way the boys stuck to the plan.

"The attitude was good and it was there for all to see and if we carry on like this, we should put behind the minor hiccups we have suffered."

He added, "DSK Shivajians are a good team and they showed it in the game against Mohun Bagan. Even in their last game against Aizawl FC, they conceded in the final minute to go down 1-0. We will be stepping on the pitch on Sunday knowing we cannot afford any more slip-ups and I'm confident the team will rise to the occasion."

DSK Shivajians, on the other hand, are playing their fifth home fixture tomorrow. After a clumsy start to the season, the home side has managed to pick up one win and two draws so far. They now sit seventh at the points table and will be looking to continue the momentum to go up the table.

After a heart-breaking loss against Aizawl FC in their last fixture, Dave Rogers' main duty is to uplift the boys' tempo before the humdinger.

"We were disappointed with the result and the way we conceded such a late goal.
We have looked back on the game and analysed our mistakes and the players have responded positively in training.

"We are excited about the game (against Bengaluru FC) as it will be a great test for our young squad. These are the type of games that all footballers look forward to -- testing themselves against one of the best teams in India. We know this game is a big challenge, given both sides' results in the last round, but we are coming into the game with a positive attitude," Rogers concluded. 

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