I-League: Bengaluru FC vs Sporting Clube de Goa - Preview
Bengaluru FC coach Ashley Westwood believes his team is peaking at the right time as they begin the second half of the Hero I-League season against a struggling Sporting Clube de Goa at the Kanteerava Stadium here on Tuesday.
Bengaluru: Bengaluru FC coach Ashley Westwood believes his team is peaking at the right time as they begin the second half of the Hero I-League season against a struggling Sporting Clube de Goa at the Kanteerava Stadium here on Tuesday.
With Sporting yet to win a game in the League this season and Bengaluru's unbeaten record against the Goan club, the numbers stack up against the visitors, but Westwood opted to exercise caution.
"In the I-League, anybody can beat anybody on their day. So we have to take them very seriously. We feel strong and are peaking at the right time and now just force the issue and try and put in good performances till the end of the season," Westwood said at the pre-match press conference Monday.
Second on the table and four points behind leaders Mohun Bagan, Bengaluru FC have been turning up with good performances despite juggling continental commitments. But Westwood knows that a slip up can be ill afforded given the fewer number of games in the League this season.
"Every single game is important. We knew that from the start of the season. If there were 15 or 16 teams, we would have a lot more games to play with and be very confident of winning the League.
"But with only 20 games, people can get lucky if you like but we have to keep believing and putting the pressure on the others,a said the coach.
Bengaluru put on a solid show in the away leg where a brace from Sean Rooney and a goal from Beikhokhei Beingaichho gave the Blues a 3-1 win.
Sporting since then have rung in a couple of changes bringing in striker Odafa Okolie and Syrian Mahmoud Al-Amna to shore up things.
Skipper Anthony Wolfe has been on a little goal scoring spree himself, bagging four in the last four games and seems to be making the most of Odafa's arrival.
"They've got new signing Odafa and Wolfe up front who on their days are capable of scoring goals and changing fortunes so we need to be concentrated to try and get a result," said Westwood.
Bengaluru will be without midfielders Siam Hanghal and Shankar Sampingiraj who are away with the India Under-23 team playing the Asian Championship. Sporting too have an absentee in Sandesh Jhingan who is part of the same team.