Bengaluru look to hit back

Hosts take on Jamshedpur today

Bengaluru look to hit back

After enduring a heart-breaking loss to Chennaiyin FC four days ago, Bengaluru FC will hope to return to their winning ways when they regroup to take on fellow newcomers Jamshedpur FC in the Indian Super League tie on Thursday.

Sunday saw Bengaluru suffer their first loss at home across all competitions in over 10 months. If that  in itself was not enough, bowing out to their neighbours in what felt like a derby-like atmosphere made things worse for the Albert Roca-coached side. And the head coach will be keen to bounce back soon.

"We would like to win, and win quick," he said explaining the mentality in the squad.

"It's important to react. At home we just cannot concede. They know how important tomorrow's game is. Especially after the last result. We are trying to do our best. I hope things will be better than last time."

Keeping the Jamshepur game in mind, Roca tried a different line-up against Chennaiyin on Sunday. While the likes of Udanta Singh, Erik Paartalu and Juan Gonzales made the bench, Roca  fielded Toni Dovale, Nishu Kumar and Dimas Delgado in the starting XI, a move that misfired against a strong Chennai outfit. However, the move meant that the rested players  would stay fresh to take on Jamshedpur. "We did some rotation as you know," Roca said.

"We knew at the beginning of the week  that it will be difficult to face these three games (against Pune, Chennai and Jamshedpur) in eight days. But it's a question of fighting till the last moment."

The game against Chennai also exposed Bengaluru's lack of  creativity and options when pushed to the corner. Chennai successfully cut Bengaluru's supply line and frustrated their forwards with tight marking. Something that Roca agreed to. "It's difficult to play the way you want when you have new players. Hope things will not be like this (tomorrow)," Roca felt.

"We have to be aware in the first minutes and try to score first. The one who scores first has the better options  - it's a stat. But it's not easy. We have to improve."

On Thursday, Roca's men will be up against an opposition that's known for their defence. The Steve Coppell-coached side has the best defensive record in the league so far, shipping in just one goal in their five matches. But a poor run in the attacking third means Jamshedpur have collected just six points and are placed sixth on the league table. And Coppell admitted that it's an area that the team has to improve upon.

"From day one, I think we concentrated much on having solid foundation," he said.

"We work quite hard on our defence and are mindful of not being prolific in front of (opposition) goal. We need to improve that. We are training to improve. As yet it hasn't happened but I hope it will happen as the games progress."

Will the visitors turn it against Bengaluru or will the home side  sweep aside their rivals, only time can tell. But,  on Thursday, one can rest assured of a quality game when one of the best attacks in the league lines-up against the best defensive side.

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