After a great start to their ISL campaign, Chennaiyin FC have stumbled a bit with three losses in their last four games. A worrying sign for Bozidar Bandovic is that his team has scored only eight goals in the ISL so far, a number lower than all other teams. Gikiewicz and Murzaev have struggled up front, with only two goals between them, as Chennaiyin are 6th in the points table, five points off the top.
Having recognized the problem, the management of Chennaiyin FC acted swiftly by bringing back Nerujis Valskis from Jamshedpur FC. The Lithuanian forward scored 15 goals for CFC during the 2019/20 season, which took them to the ISL final that year.
“I have known Valskis for many years. We need goals now. He is a good player who knows the league and the team, and he is the best option for us right now,” said Bandovic on the signing, which was made official this morning.
Chennaiyin will play against Valskis’ former team tomorrow, but the forward will not be available due to his quarantine. Bandovic adds that Valskis will begin training tomorrow with the team.
Chennaiyin’s problems this season extend beyond their attack, however. Bengaluru scored two goals last day on the back of Vishal Kaith’s incompetence, as the latter has been pretty shaky between the bars this season.
“He has made some mistakes but you need to learn from them and improve. However, this cannot happen in a few days. Kaith needs to work hard to improve,” says Bandovic.
Having Debjit Majumder on the bench, a change in front of the net is not ruled out, as Bosko says, “We will see and decide tomorrow. If it is the best for the team, then I will do it.”
Under Owen Coyle, Jamshedpur FC have lost only one game this season, and the Red Miners are poised to challenge for the ISL title. The team is in good form and Chennaiyin FC must step up their game if they are to beat Coyle’s men.
Bandovic echoes, “Jamshedpur is a strong team with some good players. Coyle is a very good coach with experience in the league. They play direct and high pressing football and are very good from set-pieces.”
Individual mistakes by players and refereeing errors contributed to Chennaiyin’s defeat to Bengaluru by a score of 4-2 in the last match. Coach Bandovic conveyed a clear message to his players after the unfortunate defeat, ” The way we played most of the time, we deserved to win. The players need to stay motivated now. They have to keep believing and working hard. We need to concentrate and be tougher.”
Ariel Borysiuk has so far been an indispensable part of Bandovic’s team. He was unfortunately forced to leave the field in the 42nd minute with an injury against Bengaluru. Bandovic updates, “Ariel had a muscle injury. We need to wait until tomorrow or the day after tomorrow to know how many days he will be out. We need to pray that the duration is short.”
Chennaiyin FC will take on Jamshedpur tomorrow at the GMC Athletic Stadium with an aim to get their season back on track.
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