Pune FC hosts defending champions Bengaluru FC in a crucial I-League Round-18 encounter at the Shree Shivchhatrapati Sports Complex in Balewadi on Tuesday.
Speaking ahead of the big clash, Pune FC Coach Karim Bencherifa discussed various topics while making it clear that despite the problems the team is facing, they will approach every game to win.
Giving his thoughts about the victory over Dempo he said, “After a loss in the previous round at home, the game against Dempo was a crucial one for the team, especially for the youngsters. We needed the three points to give a confidence boost to the entire squad. Despite the issues with the ground and the gruelling weather, the boys really dug deep to force the result in our favour. The win now puts Pune FC in a good position in the table that we can build on.”
Speaking about the preparation for the upcoming game, he added, “We just arrived yesterday morning from Goa and didn’t have much time. We will have our only session today and hope to settle in fast. The other issue is the number of players we are missing. The injuries and suspension problem definitely affects the stability of the team as every time we have to rework on the tactics along with the starting eleven and lately its happening in every game.”
“I would like to make it clear that these are not excuses, but these are facts and we are not hiding behind them. We are going into every game with the aim to win it with the available players and a professional approach. Despite all the challenges, we have lost a very few games in the season and are still in a position in the I-League where we can challenge for something,” said Coach Bencherifa.
Weighing up the opponents, he added, “Bengaluru FC are very consistent side. They play almost every game with their best team. The fact that they didn’t have any match during the weekend means they will be fresh for the game. We know their strengths but they too know our strengths. We know they are serious about this game and even their Coach was in attendance during our game against Dempo SC. We are serious about the game too and I am sure that the boys will step up to the occasion despite the fatigue and put up a strong performance.”