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Bengaluru FC seek a double over resurgent NorthEast United FC in Indian Super League

Bengaluru FC host NorthEast United in the Indian Super League on Friday.

football Updated: Jan 25, 2018 19:06 IST
Press Trust of India
Press Trust of India
Press Trust of India, Bangalore
Bengaluru FC,NorthEast United FC,Indian Super League
Udanta Singh of Bengaluru FC will be a key player against NorthEast United in the Indian Super League on Friday.(ISL)

Bengaluru FC will go all out for full points when they take on North East United in an Indian Super League encounter, here tomorrow.

Albert Roca’s men are currently in the second place with 21 points in the league standings, however the coach is aware that the job is not yet done when there are five other teams breathing down their neck.

A win will help them leapfrog FC Pune City taking pole position in the points table.

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Bengaluru had to work hard for their solitary goal victory against the Highlanders when the two sides met in Guwahati earlier in the season and Roca is anticipating nothing less from the visitors.

“We had to grind out a win in Guwahati and that game was an indicator of how tough a side they can be. A lot has changed for them off the pitch too and I know they will give us a hard time,” the Spanish tactician in charge at Bengaluru said.

“We approach every game with a certain degree of caution but not at the cost of compromising on our philosophy, and this game won’t be any different.

“NorthEast have been growing in confidence as the tournament has progressed and I haven’t been surprised at all,” he added.

NorthEast United pulled off an inspiring 3-1 victory over Chennaiyin FC in their last outing, and Bengaluru FC would not want to suffer a similar fate with other teams’ are hot on their heals.

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At the moment, there are only three points separating the top place FC Pune City, on 22 points and fourth place FC Goa with 19 points to their credit.

Bengaluru FC doesn’t want to settle anything less than victory in their remaining campaign to assure play-off.

“Looking at how tight the top half of the table is, I would say 21 more points from the remaining seven games,” Roca said.

Bengaluru FC are facing a gruelling fixture having returned to city from Bhutan only yesterday late night, and are scheduled to play next five games off 14 days.

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“Calendar is very hectic on us but this is a situation we cannot control. We are at a stage where every game is vital if we are to seal a spot in the semi-final. Fortunately, I have a squad that is willing to step up when called upon.”

The trip to Bengaluru FC will be Avram Grant’s first away game as the head coach of North East United. The former Chelsea manager is quite hopeful that his side can repeat the feat against Bengaluru.

“I have seen them on television. They are a good team and I like the way they play. But as we have shown in our last match that we have the ability to win games,” Grant said.

NorthEast United are current 9 points off the top four places with just 8 more games left in the season. Talking about his sides chances of making it to the playoffs, Grant added:”Of course at the start of the season, the objective was a place in the top four. But now we just need to do the right thing. With so many points behind we just need to focus on the next game.”

First Published: Jan 25, 2018 19:06 IST