Chennaiyin FC have made a strong start to the ISL 2021-22 season with 2 wins out of 2. Coach Bozidar Bandovic has marshaled his troops well in the first 2 games and would be hoping to continue to do the same in forthcoming games. CFC next face an SC East Bengal side that is low on confidence following 2 defeats in a row after their draw against JFC.
Coach Bozidar Bandovic and defender Narayan Das addressed the media ahead of their game against SC East Bengal on Friday.
On team news and injury concerns for the game, Bozidar said, “No injury concerns. Only Rafael is out for tomorrow’s game”.
Chennaiyin FC would be high on confidence after 2 wins on the bounce. However, coach Bozidar Bandovic was wary of complacency creeping into his team. He said, “We can always improve and do better. I am not a magic man to fix the team in 2 months. We can play better but it needs time. We need to work better tactically and physically. Till now, I am satisfied that we won 2 games, but we realize as a team and as individual players that we can do better. The way you start is important but how you finish is more important”.
Defender Narayan Das was signed from SC East Bengal at the start of the season. The match against his former team would be extra special for Narayan. On his assessment of the current SCEB team and his targets against them, the defender said, “SCEB team is good this season. They are a huge club and just that luck hasn’t favored them. I know they will do well, and their coach will also be looking to fix problems. No personal targets for me against them. The only target for us is to make it 3 wins in a row”.
SC East Bengal have conceded 10 goals in 3 games so far in the ISL 2021-22. Chennaiyin FC would want to exploit their weaknesses and get 3 points. On his assessment of SCEB, Bozidar said, “We go game by game. We know they will be 100% focused because they would want to come back. So, we need to be ready for them by being quicker in our thinking and by making good decisions. We must fully respect the opponent. It doesn’t matter if they conceded 10 goals or lost 2 games. They will come to win the game especially now and we need to be ready for them”.
Narayan was often seen playing at left-back last season for SC East Bengal. In the previous game for CFC, Narayan played at center-back alongside Slavko Damjanovic. On his transition from a full-back to a center-back, Narayan said, “It’s not very challenging, to be honest. We just follow the advice of the coach. Position is normal with every coach and something that every player has to deal with”.
Anirudh Thapa did the star turn for CFC in their game against NorthEast United FC. Bozidar was asked about Thapa’s leadership ability and his assessment of Thapa as an attacking midfielder comparing other players he had coached. Bozidar replied, “My players are the best players. I chose Anirudh to be captain because I believe in him. I know he is a leader, and he knows what he needs to do. He has been in CFC for a long time. This is his club. Not only me, all players and fans believe in him because of his personality and character”.
On fatigue and short turnaround time for matches and if there would be any changes to starting line-up, Bozidar said, “We have a very short period. We use it to recover our players, analyze our game, analyze our opponents’ game, look at statistics, and then train with players. We try to keep them focused and mentally ready for the next game. We will see the starting line-up tomorrow”.
Chennaiyin FC will look to keep the winning momentum going when they face SCEB on Friday. They are one of the 2 teams to hold a perfect record in the league and would want that to continue for forthcoming games. In SCEB, they have a tricky opponent and a win is never going to be easy.
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