Chhetri hopeful for stability as first game under Zaragoza approaches.

Sunil Chhetri, the captain of Bengaluru FC, spoke at a pre-match media briefing alongside new head coach Gerard Zaragoza. Chhetri expressed his desire for stability and success for the team, which has been struggling this season. He acknowledged the team’s poor performance and lack of synchronization among the players. Chhetri emphasized the importance of improving the mentality and confidence of the team to turn their fortunes around. The article also mentions the departure of the previous coach, Simon Grayson, and the team’s current position in the league.

New beginnings: Chhetri said the team is ready to give its everything for coach Zaragoza.

New beginnings: Chhetri said the team is ready to give its everything for coach Zaragoza.
| Photo Credit: MURALI KUMAR K

The last time Sunil Chhetri attended a Bengaluru FC pre-match media briefing at home was in October 2022, before the start of the Indian Super League season with then manager Simon Grayson.

Another head coach introduction brought Chhetri back, this time with Gerard Zaragoza, who aims to lead the crisis-ridden club to a new direction after Grayson’s departure. Bengaluru FC currently ranks ninth out of twelve teams this season.

Chhetri arrived early at the Sree Kanteerava Stadium and made jokes with those present. He jokingly mentioned that even his three-month-old son knew how poorly the team was performing, as the baby started crying when Chhetri returned after the defeat to Chennaiyin FC.

During the conference, Chhetri humorously suggested that Zaragoza might have a full squad to train during the break for the Asian Cup in January because none of the BFC players, based on their current form, will make it to the Indian party for Qatar.

However, deep down, Chhetri was hurting. In the nearly eight years since BFC’s establishment in 2013, there have only been three full-time head coaches. Zaragoza is the franchise’s third coach in less than three years since February 2021. Chhetri has remained a constant presence, and he expressed a strong desire to experience success again.

“We are eagerly waiting for stability,” he said before the match against Jamshedpur FC. “This is the beginning of a new era, and I genuinely hope we achieve that stability. It has reached a point where it hurts. I feel it as someone who has been here from day one. But the best part is that only we can fix it. As players, we will do everything to support our new boss.”

Following the heavy 0-4 defeat to Mumbai City FC, Grayson had commented that he hadn’t seen any “vocal leaders in the group.” Chhetri didn’t agree entirely.

“We’re simply not meeting the standards. We’re talking about Gurpreet Singh Sandhu, Javi Hernandez, myself, and now Suresh Wangjam. Three of us are in the National team’s starting lineup.

“It’s just that we’re not in sync. That’s why the young players are struggling. I don’t think it’s a lack of leadership, but rather the leaders not performing.

“Individually, we’re choosing games to underperform in. In some games, it’s me; in others, it’s Suresh, Namgyal Bhutia, Harsh Patre, etc. And with each loss, our confidence level decreases. So, as the coach says, it’s about ensuring the right mentality. The football will fall into place.”

The article is reproduced from Source link

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *