Trust, Belief, Simplicity: Bengaluru FC's secret to success
Gurpreet Singh Sandhu's simplicity, Sandesh Jhingan's trust, and Simon Grayson's belief are what helped Bengaluru FC be where they are.
It's all about keeping things simple, at least to Bengaluru FC's goalie Gurpreet Singh Sandhu. The Blues have now win 11 matches on the trot after a very uncharacteristic start to the season. Sandhu attributes this turnaround to the fact that they never tried to complicate things.
"I think simplicity (Bengaluru's greatest strength). The way we kept things simple even after the losses on the trot. It was important that we didn't over-complicate things and realised that we needed to keep them simple. When football is played simple, it's more effective," the goalie said.
Teammate Suresh Singh Wangjam, who's been immense in the middle of the park for Simon Grayson's team this season, agreed with Gurpreet. On asked what goes into preparing when one has to face a midfield trio of Hugo Boumus, Carl McHugh, and Glan Martins, the 22-year-old said, "It's simple. We don't want to think too much that it's a final tomorrow. We'll keep doing whatever we've been doing in the past few months.
"I don't think there's any secret as such, we just tell each other to keep it simple, that's all," he said.
Trusting each other in a team is of paramount importance, especially when the side goes through a tumultuous season. However, during the rough patches, Bengaluru FC had pretty much reached rock bottom. Disagreements and fights within the camp was the order of the day, as skipper Sunil Chhetri revealed.
"There was one training when Gurpreet lost his cool and they he and coach were fighting. One day I saw Sandesh Jhingan losing his head completely, one day Roy (Krishna) was hammering everyone. One day I lost my cool with Muirang which wasn't pleasant," Chhetri said.
However, the fact that the team didn't given up, which is usually in the cards for teams going through a phase of low self-esteem, is what got them through and allowed them to trust each other once more.
"I think it's all about trust. I trusted them (Rohit Kumar and Suresh) to say the right thing, and that's the secret. We trusted each other," Jhingan quickly answered when he allowed his juniors to answer a question first.
At the end of 2022, Bengaluru FC were languishing in 9th place with barely a couple of wins under their belt. One wouldn't have predicted their incredible remontada of sorts, that they would be playing ATK Mohun Bagan in the Indian Super League final, but they are.
Coach Grayson attributes the success to a single word: Belief.
"In my perspective, one word that I've thought about over the last few weeks, and more notably in the last few games, is belief. Belief in myself that I as doing the right things, belief that the players would understand that I was doing the right things, and then the belief that they could carry the instructions and get the results we wanted," he concluded.
Bengaluru FC will take on the Mariners tomorrow, 18th March, in a bid to top off their brilliant season with the ISL title.