Csaba Laszlo: Coaching Chennaiyin FC will be a huge and interesting challenge

Two-time Hero Indian Super League (Hero ISL) champions Chennaiyin FC announced the arrival of Csaba Laszlo as their new head coach ahead of the 2020-21 season. Head coach Laszlo shared his excitement at the prospect of working with the youngsters of Chennaiyin FC in the latest episode of Let’s Football Live with host Anant Tyagi. He also spoke about his objectives with the club as well as his intentions to help improve Indian football during an hour-long conversation.

“Chennaiyin FC is a club that is growing. It’s like a family and it’s very important that the club has a vision. This is very important for me. Through my career, I have worked with a lot of young, talented players. Wherever I have coached in Romania, Uganda and Slovakia, I have discovered a lot of talented players. I wanted to do the same in India,” the 56-year-old said.

“For me, it is very important to find young players who use the knowledge the coaches impart and help improve Indian football. It is a huge and interesting challenge for me and for the club. I am here to help improve Indian football as well,” he added.

While elucidating on his football philosophy, Laszlo declared, “I want to play dominating football if we have the ball. I look at how the team reacts when in possession or if they have lost the ball in the midfield. These questions are all part of my philosophy. If you see big teams, they don’t change their tactical formation, but (rather) how they play within that formation. I have to adapt to my team, my players and to the league.”

Chennaiyin preferred to play in the 4-2-3-1 formation last season and Laszlo insisted that he won’t mind sticking to that system if it brings them success. “I have to look at my team before I choose a preferred formation for them. A professional team needs to know how to play two or three formations. If the club has had success playing in a particular formation (in the past), it would be crazy to change that. I don’t think we will go very far from the formation that we played in the previous season,” he shared.

READ: Chennaiyin FC add trio of youngsters for Hero ISL 2020-21 

Laszlo is also looking forward to working with Chennaiyin’s several youngsters and expanded on the numerous benefits of having a young squad. “If you have young players in your team, there are many plus points. They don’t get injured that much and they recover very quickly. They are more direct and they listen to the head coach because they want to learn. They are very fast in their thinking. The recovery time for the players is much faster as well in the young players,” he said.

“I have been following the development of the team over the last three seasons. They have the most talented young Indian players in their squad, especially in the midfield because it is the heart of the team. This is a huge development for the team,” Laszlo added.

Youngsters like Anirudh Thapa and Lallianzuala Chhangte have become ever-present for Chennaiyin. However, their new head coach believes that both players are now ready to take the next step in their career.

“The next step for both players is to win the Hero ISL trophy. At the same time they have to learn to be louder on the pitch. I will give him (Thapa) more freedom to organize the team (in the midfield). Responsibility is important for young players who are talented. They need to learn to be leaders to get to the higher stage. It is my responsibility to show them how to become leaders and not just give them the freedom to become the leader,” Laszlo said.

The 56-year-old also had some stirring words for the Chennaiyin faithful. “If you stay up, please think about Chennaiyin FC. If you go to bed or if you dream, then dream about your favourite club Chennaiyin FC. We will do as much as we can even if you are not in the stadium. The team knows that you are the biggest part of our family. You give our family the most hope. The fans are everything for us,” Laszlo shared.

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