Before a crucial match against ATK Mohun Bagan on Saturday, Chennaiyin FC Head Coach Bozidar Bandovic sat down at the pre-match press conference to talk to the media. He was joined by Lallianzuala Chhangte, who has already got his first goal of the season in the second game against NorthEast United FC.
The Coach spoke about his side’s style and approach to the game this season, their opponents ATK Mohun Bagan, potential transfers in the near future, and much more. Here’s an excerpt of the conference.
ATK Mohun Bagan have had a mixed bag of a season thus far. After a blistering start to their campaign, they have succumbed to back-to-back defeats at the hands of Mumbai City FC and Jamshedpur FC.
Talking about their current form, Bandovic said, “In my opinion, ATK Mohun Bagan are one of the best teams in the league. We have to respect this side who have had the same coach for many years now. After two losses, they are more dangerous than ever.”
Bozidar Bandovic on how Chennaiyin will plan to neutralize the threat from Hugo Boumous and Roy Krishna
“Our players will have to have pressure on the ball and maintain good communication. They are very dangerous in one-versus-one situations, so we need to keep the pressure on the ball as Krishna will look to get into spaces. We have to be alarmed for his runs as they have a very dangerous last pass and Krishna has a good feeling and reading of the game.”
ATK Mohun Bagan were often caught unbalanced and out of shape when being pressed high by Mumbai City and the Red Miners. When we asked the coach whether we could see some pressing football from his side, he opined, “I think Chennaiyin has improved a lot from the first game to the third. We need to be equally good in defense and attack. We have some plans for tomorrow and we will follow those accordingly.”
We asked the coach whether we could see any new additions to their roster, especially in the attacking third as Rafael Crivellaro is yet to return from injury while Lukasz Gikiewicz has not yet started any game.
“I don’t want to speak about this at the moment. I am concentrating on the team that I have at my disposal and that is my highest priority. When the time comes, of course, I am thinking about the future of the club and how to improve the team.”
Lallianzuala Chhangte has come under scrutiny in recent weeks for his immaturity in the box, although he found the net with a crisp finish against the Highlanders. On being inquired about how he could get better, the 24-year-old said “Of course, I’m trying to get better on the pitch. The coach has been helping me a lot in training. I need to be more confident and clinical in front of goal.”
Bozidar Bandovic on Deepak Devrani’s absence from the matchday squad
“At the moment, I feel Narayan Das is more comfortable in that central defensive position. I like to have more attacking options on the bench, and we also have Salam Ranjan Singh present who is also a centre-back. Of course, I speak to Deepak in training about how he can get better and can develop his game.”
ATK Mohun Bagan and Chennaiyin FC will find themselves in the second position in the table behind Mumbai City FC if they are able to secure all three points from tomorrow’s fixture. Bandovic will trust Chhangte to lead their wing play as the Mariners have found it difficult to contain other talented wingers like Vikram Pratap Singh and Len Doungel in recent games.
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