THE BLOG BY CPD FOOTBALL | The World of Indian football and beyond by Chris Punnakkattu Daniel

Bengaluru aim to end season on a high against Jamshedpur FC

Bengaluru FC players in training at the Dempo SC training facilities in Carambolim, Goa. (Photo courtesy: Bengaluru FC)
Bengaluru FC players in training at the Dempo SC training facilities in Carambolim, Goa. (Photo courtesy: Bengaluru FC)

Interim Coach Naushad Moosa has called for his side to end the season on a good note when the Blues take on Jamshedpur FC, at the Tilak Maidan, on Thursday. Jamshedpur come into the game on the back of a win against Mumbai City FC, while the Blues went down 2-1 to FC Goa in their previous fixture.

Nigerian defender Stephen Eze’s strike was the difference when the two sides met at the Fatorda in the reverse fixture. Victory on Thursday night will allow Bengaluru a sixth placed finish on the League table, a position currently occupied by the hosts, who lead by two points and need only a draw to cement their place heading into the final gameweek of the regular season. “Jamshedpur are currently in sixth place on the table and we are two points behind them. Whether we win this game or not determines where we finish on the table, and the boys are motivated to wrap the season on a good note. I can see that there isn’t a lot of pressure on them now,” said Moosa, addressing the media on the eve of the fixture.

As many as eight youngsters have been given a run of games this term and Moosa added that he will look to give some of them an opportunity at the Maidan. “We have been considering giving chances to more youngsters, but I will have to find the right balance on the pitch. We are up against a good team led by an experienced coach, who will also want to finish the season on a good note.”

The Blues recently announced the appointment of Marco Pezzaiuoli as the new head coach, and Moosa said he has been having conversations about the side with the Italian on a daily basis. “I am in constant touch with Marco, and we have been discussing a lot about the players, the upcoming AFC Cup campaign, player recruitment and more. He is here in Goa and has been seeing the games from the stands. We have also been recording the training sessions and sending them to him.”

For Bengaluru, Biswa Darjee joins the list of absentees having picked up a hamstring injury, while Ashique Kuruniyan is set to miss out having picked up his fourth yellow card of the season against Goa. The hosts, meanwhile, will be without the services of Lithuanian striker Nerijus Valskis, who serves a suspension of his own.

Kick off at the Tilak Maidan is scheduled for 7:30 pm and will be telecast live on the STAR Sports Network, Hotstar and Jio TV.

(Bengaluru FC)