A day after Indian Super League (ISL) club Bengaluru FC crushed Nepalese side Tribhuvan Army FC 5-0 in their 2021 AFC Cup Preliminary Round 2 clash, their head coach Marco Pezzaiuoli said the team’s success was because, “Our training sessions have never been based on the opponents. We prepare for what we want to develop".
“The focus is on the next two weeks and, because I don’t work only for this group stage, I want to see a better team for the new season. Now for me, it’s like a pre-season, and I will take every minute with the team," the 52-year-old German said.
Bengaluru FC scored five with Brazilian Cleiton Silva and Rahul Bheke scoring a brace each and Sunil Chhetri also getting his name on the score-sheet.
The Chhetri-lead side will now take on the winner of the game between Bangladesh’s Abahani Dhaka and Maldives’ Club Eagles in the play-off tie. The match will likely be held on April 21 at a venue to be decided.
Pezzaiuoli was happy with the team’s performance but pointed out a few aspects where his side could improve. “It was very important that the team was patient. At half-time we played 0-0, we had some chances in the first half but we developed in the second half. The players showed a little bit of what we trained with and without the ball," he said.
“A 100 per cent quality was missing with the last pass. But I think it’s not the players’ fault, we didn’t have many training sessions as a team in these four weeks. We stayed more in quarantine (than in training)."
Pezzaiuoli was especially impressed with the performance of youngsters. “I saw (Namgyal) Bhutia play well on the right side. Naorem Roshan Singh playing at right-back was a new position for him — he played as a winger before. He closed his side well and he was using both feet…the entire team’s effort was high level."