Anything can happen, it will go down to the last game: Chennaiyin FC’s Bozidar Bandovic on top-four race

Chennaiyin FC head coach Bozidar Bandovic acknowledged that his side has fallen short when it comes to converting goalscoring opportunities in this season of the Hero Indian Super League (ISL) and as the pressure mounts in the race to the top, lack of preparation and recovery has made things tougher.

As they take on Bengaluru FC in their next fixture, the memories of the thumping 4-2 defeat in the reverse fixture are still fresh while Bandovic has deemed the Blues as one of the best teams in Hero ISL.

However, with both teams finding form in recent matches, the chances of qualifying in the top-four has only increased.

Ahead of Chennaiyin FC’s clash against the Blues, coach Bandovic addressed the media during the official pre-match press conference.

Here are the excerpts from Bandovic’s press conference.

What are your thoughts on Bengaluru FC?

It [Bengaluru] is one of the best teams with good quality players in their squad. They are very dangerous on the offensive set-pieces. We need to defend set-pieces very well.

What did you learn from the previous loss to Bengaluru FC?

We played a good game. Of course, there were some mistakes, even the goals weren’t good. We need to defend from the set-pieces better. There is no preparation for this game, there has been no recovery. It will be difficult but it is no excuse.

How frustrating is it to see a lack of goals from Chennaiyin FC?

My view is that it happens many times. I have these players and we will go till the very end. We have to see to even bring in a player who can put the ball in the net. We have games every 3-4 days and you can put the player in danger of getting injured. But yes, this is one problem we have which has happened many times. I will talk to the players to bring the confidence back to take pressure off them. Small things make big difference. 

What are the positives you are taking from the previous win against NorthEast United FC?

First positive from the game against NorthEast United is that we had chances and secondly, we turnaround the game by scoring two goals. That was a good effort, we showed character. It was a very good game for the team and for the players as we were losing but won in the end and that’s very important for us.

How do you see your chances of qualifying in the semi-final?

We haven’t had a chance to recover. Anything can happen at this moment. All teams are facing a similar problem. It will be difficult for us. We are closed in the room and anything is possible. It will go down to the last game. We know ATK Mohun Bagan have had fewer games and some have played more but anything can happen.

How do you rate Lukasz Gikiewicz’s performance?

He was playing very well and he held the team. I should give him a chance because after winning and scoring the goal he was coming off the bench and he did well. Yes, he deserves the chance, I should see how I can make rotation and give him the minutes.

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