Božidar Bandović – We will take one game at a time

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Chennaiyin FC boss Božidar Bandović and the newly appointed captain Anirudh Thapa addressed the press in an online session before their inaugural ISL match against Hyderabad FC. The Marina machans will be looking to revive their legacy this season.

The Montenegrin coach, on being asked about the challenges faced by his side he said,

First of all, we tried to bring the players in a brief period. We brought many new players, and it is a challenge we have, to make them play together, to make the team, to make a good group, so this is one challenge because there are many new players, plus new foreigners, they need to adapt in the eight weeks of what we trained together.” He added that the team is aiming for an excellent start to the season by bringing results and tackling the challenges.

Bandović gave the press a vital injury update on Rafael Crivellaro and German . The gaffer explained that Rafael has pain and is unable to train with the team. German will be fit for the subsequent encounter, he exclaimed.

The 52-year-old stands firm with his winning mentality as he puts winning over anything else.

The important thing is to win the games. There are different tactical solutions that we can use. What I am trying is to choose the best one to win the games. We are playing for results and everybody wants to do well. And of course, if we can play the game and win the game, that is the best. Sometimes, when you have a bad game and win a game, this is the character, this is the team,” said Bandović.

The two-time champions have had a complete overhaul in their foreign contingent, and talking about the new foreign players, the gaffer said,

First of all, they are all new here in this country. I chose these players because they have good characters and personalities, of course. In this time, they have adapted very well,even in groups. I believe all the staff and the domestic players are helping them. About their quality, I don’t have to speak because you can see where they have played.

We are expecting to do the same here. We need to respect what they have done before, but for us, it counts what they will do now so, we are expecting them to make a difference as foreigners, to help and play for the team. I’m sure that they will do that.”

Bandović added that the overseas players adapted to the circumstances quite well.

The former Buriram United head says that the team will improve with each passing game and spoke about CFC plans.

First of all, in my career as a coach, I want to take one game at a time . The most crucial game is the first game tomorrow, and then after we can think about the next matches. Of course, the club has its targets for themselves because it’s normal when you join one team that has been champions. We will try to go game by game and try to be in the top four.

With all respect, there are many good teams. There are coaches in other teams who have worked many years in this league. So we will try, we would go game by game what we can reach. I believe we will be better and how much, we need to see through all these games. We need to improve, we need to see in the next period how we can make the team stronger and better,” Bandović added.

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Bandović also spoke about the Indian players in his team.

For the national team players like Thapa and all others, I believe they can do more and improve because they have the quality and space to improve. Young players work with them because they are great characters and the way they train and handle things in the training. For the young players, they are examples. 

When they grow up, some of them, I hope, will be national team players, they have good examples, which is very important for one team. I believe they should be delighted to train with them because everything the seniors are doing is an example for them. It is a good thing, they can improve, and of course, I’m here to show them, to work with them and enhance them in their next period.”

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Indian national team midfielder and Chennaiyin FC’s very own captain, Anirudh Thapa spoke about his captaincy.

Everyone has to guide the younger players, not only me. Every player with experience guides the young players and the other players because that’s how we will improve, helping each other on and off the field. I will try and do the same with everyone, whether a young player or any other player. So will they. They will also guide me if I’m doing anything wrong. It’s the same for everyone. So I don’t think that there is any big thing, whether I have to guide them, or I. have to tell them what they need to do,” he said.

Thapa was with the national team during CFC’s preseason length and talking about the differences in last season and the moment now, he said,

Last season, I was there for the full preseason. This time I came somewhere in the middle of the preseason, so these things have changed from the last season. New foreigners and new players have come in. It will be a challenge for all of us.” He added that the couple of friendly games the team played has defined what the coach wanted to do and expected from the group.

Thapa feels fortunate enough to have worked with the club and its former coaches and players, who he considers a vital part of his journey, and spoke about the senior players and their role in the camp.

We have many experienced players, and they guide me. It’s nothing new to me. Before that also some senior players used to guide me, and still, many of them are guiding me. It helps me to improve my game, to be what I am today. Everyone has helped me, the club and coaches have helped me, and that’s how I have improved, and that’s how a player improves. Because how he surrounds himself with others is the only thing that matters. I’m fortunate enough to have good experienced players and good coaches who have helped me in the past years,” the 23-year old said.

He says he wishes the same this season and looks forward to helping the team to the best of his abilities.


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