After two very tight games against Mumbai City FC and ATK Mohun Bagan, Bozidar Bandovic led Chennaiyin FC will be up against Odisha FC tonight at 7:30 PM. Both the teams are just one place and point apart at this moment of the tournament. Odisha FC are in fourth place with 9 points while Chennaiyin FC are in fifth place with only 8 points.
Odisha FC are currently one of the teams which assures goal fests in its games at both ends. While Chennaiyin FC keep it tight at both ends which means they are least likely to deliver a goal-fest. Courtesy of this condition of Chennaiyin FC’s matches goes to the well-organized and disciplined defense but on the other hand, the attack is once again disappointing its fans with the scoreline.
Before the first game of the Saturday doubleheader, the head coach Bozidar Bandovic addressed some of the questions about the above-mentioned situations from the media. Here are some of the excerpts from the same:
What was the specific reason behind starting Lukasz ahead of Mirlan against Mumbai City FC?
“First of all I wanted to give him a second game in a row. This was my thought behind giving him the start. And I believe that with Chhangte, he will pair up very good!”
Do you have any thoughts of replacing Vishal Kaith?
“Not at all. I don’t have even 1% thought of replacing him. And this counts for all my players. I don’t believe in changing players after a mistake. We should keep supporting them. He will play and he will have my full support.”
Is finishing a matter of concern for the team?
“We are creating chances but we are missing very much. It has become clear in a couple of our last games. Even in the games against SC East Bengal, Northeast United FC, and ATK Mohun Bagan, we created many chances but we failed to convert them. So we need goals. I believe that in a matter of time, we will start scoring goals.”
“Our defense is well organised and disciplined. If you want to play at a high level, you will have to be well organized and disciplined in the defense. This for me is very very clear since the beginning and I said the same to the players. I agree that we are missing goals but on the other side, we are very well organized in defence!”
Do you think that the absence of Rafael Crivellaro has affected the Chennaiyin attack? Also, please provide the update on his comeback.
“I as a coach don’t like excuses. You will have to understand that we are with minus one foreigner. Yes, he is a quality player. If he can help the team, of course 100%. But since we don’t have him, we have to play without him.”
“At this moment, he is doing some light sessions with bicycles. He hasn’t trained with the team for two months. He didn’t even play one friendly game. For the fans and everybody, we don’t have Rafael Crivellaro for the next few games.”
Do you have any January signings in mind at the moment?
“At this moment, I don’t really want to talk about replacements. We have games in front of us. So it’s very important to put confidence on the players that we have.”
Why are you using lesser substitutions than allowed?
“We know that we have five changes allowed in a game. We make changes based on the situations. Actually, we don’t need to make five changes, we don’t even have to make three! As I said, we make changes based on the in-game situations. And it’s not like we have to necessarily make all the five substitutions in a game. We are ok with it. But if we need, we will do it!”
Among the forwards you see in the training, who is the most likely player to deliver in front of goal?
“Everyone! Mirlan, Lukasz, Rahim, everyone in the training is scoring goals. For me, what I believe, is its matter of just a moment when things start clicking in.”
Was the formation 352 specifically used against ATK Mohun Bagan and Mumbai City FC (stronger teams) or will we see it continued for the next game?
“It’s not about the stronger teams. I wanted to play with two forwards and it strengthens the central channel in defence. We did very well against two teams (ATK Mohun Bagan and Mumbai City FC). They are having the same bunch of players from the last two years with a strong team. We were very very close. I don’t think they deserved to win, or maybe we didn’t deserve to win it.”
“Of course in the last game we should have done better in the attack, especially in the first half!”
Your views on Odisha FC? After the games against ATK Mohun Bagan and Mumbai City FC, are your players tending to relax a bit ahead of this game?
“For me every game is difficult. We have to approach every game with full concentration. This is what we need. We lost the last game because of small margins so we have to keep going. Odisha FC is a good team and they have some really dangerous players. They (as a team) are very dangerous in set-pieces which we need to address.”
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