Former Phoenix star struggling to find goals with new India Super League club

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Former Wellington Phoenix striker Roy Krishna has struck a rare drought in front of goal, having scored only once in eight league games for his new Indian Super League club Bengaluru FC.

For a player who has scored an average of 0.56 goals per game to be the ISL’s third-highest goalscorer, Krishna (35) has struggled so far this season.

His shooting accuracy is 8% this season, compared to an ISL career record of 22%.

ISL pundit Paul Masefield believes the lack of goals is less about Krishna and more about the formation being used by Bengaluru’s manager, Simon Grayson.

Whereas Krishna was the focal point of the attack at previous clubs ATK FC and ATK Mohun Bagan, he is being used differently at Bengaluru.

“I don’t think it’s so much down to Roy Krishna but the way Simon Grayson wants them to play.

“I think with ATK Mohun Bagan, he was given the licence to just solely play there up top and be that focal point.

“He had players there that would give him the ball much quicker and players that understood the system that was in place for him.

“At Bengaluru FC, there is a different type of formation that Simon Grayson plays. It’s more a 4-4-2 or a 4-3-3. So, he has to adapt, and get involved a little bit more.”

Main photo: Roy Krishna … struggling in front of goal this season. Photo: Shane Wenzlick / Phototek.

‘A matter of time before he starts scoring goals’

ISL commentator John Helm said: “He knew his role at ATK Mohun Bagan and knew when and where to make runs, confident a colleague would find him in the right place at the right time to convert. Krishna’s start to life in Bengaluru has been underwhelming, but that can happen and often does to the very best.”

Masefield is confident Krishna will turn things around.

“For me, it’s just a matter of time before Krishna starts scoring goals. He is a renowned goalscorer and he knows where the back of the net is.

“You can never fault him for one thing and that is his work rate. If he continues to work as hard as he is and he is putting in a shift in each game, the goals will come.”

Krishna signed with Bengaluru after turning down an offer to return to the Wellington Phoenix for the current A-League season.

Krishna’s outstanding career

Krishna has had a successful career that’s taken him from Fiji club Labasa in 2006 to become one of Oceania’s most prolific goalscorers. He’s among the five top goalscorers in the ISL since its inception in 2014.

After five years with Waitakere United — where he scored 65 goals in 75 appearances — he joined Auckland City and soon won a professional contract with the Phoenix.

Considered the best Fijian footballer ever, Krishna’s place in the game’s history is assured. He was named an Oceania Football Confederation ambassador last year and he’ll remain a fans’ favourite at the Phoenix for whom he scored 65 goals in 122 appearances.

He captained Fiji at the FIFA Oceania World Cup qualifying tournament in Qatar in March.

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