Bozidar Bandovic – Kerala has some strong individuals that we need to take care of

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Bozidar Bandovic

The Bozidar Bandovic-led Chennaiyin FC has enjoyed a great start to their season, winning three games and drawing two in their first six games. The team is currently ranked fourth in the points table and plays Kerala Blasters tomorrow. Having won 3-0 against table-toppers Mumbai City FC, the latter will be eager to add to its points total in order to climb up the table.

Head coach Bozidar Bandovic attended the pre-match press conference ahead of the match against the Blasters. Here’s what the coach had to say ahead of the big game.

Bozidar Bandovic

Bozidar Bandovic on the approach against Kerala Blasters

As you have seen in all the games everyone can win so we need to look and try to win the game. It will be a difficult game, they are a good team and we will be ready for them. They registered a good victory two days ago.”

On Jerry’s performances

We are working with all the players physically, tactically, and mentally as well and we are trying to explain to everybody the position we want because we want to improve and everyone is responding well including Jerry. We have been together for only three months but the other teams have had the same team for two or three years. So it is a new process and we need time for the players but till this moment he is doing very well.”

On his contract with Chennaiyin

I have a one-year contract which ends in March.”

Bozidar Bandovic on his tactics against Kerala

I am always saying the same that is we need to have balance. We need to prepare according to how the opposition plays so that we can take advantage of their weaknesses. It is a balance between attack and defense but like all other teams, they have some strong individuals that we need to take care of. My team, they have done very well physically as well as tactically. We have shown character and good effort on the field. We can be better, we can improve but as I said it is a new process and at this moment we are doing very well. Every team has its strengths and we need to use our strengths to win the games.”

On the mental battle against Kerala

It is about everything- mental, tactical, and physical. Mentally we are very strong and we want to win every game and we do not give up. When I came to this club, I wanted to build a team that can be a team not only on the field but also in the locker room because if you cannot be a team in the locker room then you cannot be a team on the field as well. We are very strong and we have the winning mentality.”

On improvements in the team

For me, it means nothing if we keep the ball but can’t create chances because this means that we were not dangerous and not creating scoring chances. But if you see the stats, we are creating as well as scoring. Maybe in the first half against Mumbai, we should and could have been better in the attack. The most important thing for me is to keep creating chances and have confidence in the team. They will become better day by day.”

Bozidar Bandovic on Jobby Justin’s absence

He did not play for a long time. I let him go for private reasons and that is why he was not on the team. When he came back he had to quarantine. He was working very well and of course, there need to be some improvements and I talked to him about those. He was out of training for many days and now he needs to have patience. We have eight days after the Kerala game and we need to see how he trains.”

Injury updates for the game

No injuries apart from Rafa.”

Designated penalty taker in the team

It is Koman.”

Bozidar Bandovic on the difference between the Thai League and the ISL

I do not want to compare because they are different. Of course, there is a tactical point but I am very happy to be working here and the players are working very hard. We have a very short time to work with the players since we need to play every two or three days. The gap between the seasons does not help the players as well as the team so I hope for the betterment of the players and for football the situation currently changes. It is very difficult in the bubble. So this is my opinion.”

On the upcoming eight-day break

It has been three months and It has been very difficult. I have to tell you that I am very happy and proud of my staff and the people and all the players as well for maintaining a positive atmosphere. Three months in the room is very hard, we just got to go out for one single day and therefore it has not been easy. We will see how we can be happier and spend our time in better ways but you know having a game every three or four days is better than a week apart.”

Bozidar Bandovic on Slavko’s importance

“I believe he is an important player and he supports everyone around him and he is playing very well but he is not the only one and I always say that you do not depend upon individual players but all the players. He is a foreigner and so he has to be performing well and making a difference.”

Chennaiyin FC will take on Kerala Blasters tomorrow at the Tilak Maidan Stadium.

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