Bandovic confident of a much better showing in front of goal

New Chennaiyin FC head coach Bozidar Bandovic is confident that the Marina Machans will move on from their woeful performance in front of goal last season with a much better showing in the upcoming edition of the Hero Indian Super League (Hero ISL).

Chennaiyin FC, under Csaba Laszlo, scored just 17 goals in 20 games in 2020-21 – least among all 11 teams -- despite creating many chances all through the season. Their wastefulness played a big role in their finishing eighth on the points table.   

I cannot speak about last season as I was not there. I believe these players can score goals but what we want to do is to do team work to create chances and of course, they have quality and ability to score goals. For me it’s not important who will score the goals. It’s important that the team wins and scores more goals than the opponent and I believe this will be better this year,” Bandovic told the media on Tuesday.

The two-time Hero ISL champions have made quite a few new signings ahead of the season. Vladimir Koman, Mirlan Murzaev, Slavko Damjanovic, Ariel Borysiuk and Lukasz Gikiewicz are their new foreign imports for the upcoming season. As far as domestic players are concerned, Ninthoi Meetei, Davinder Singh, Deepak Devrani, Jobby Justin, Debjit Majumder, Salam Ranjan Singh and Narayan Das are the new names at the club. Bandovic is pleased with the squad at this disposal.

“I believe we have a good balance of youth and experience and of course we have some domestic players who are at a good level and have played for the national team. I believe we have a good team and now we have to work hard. I believe that we need to make coordination between the players and make them play in their preferred position so that they can give their best for the team,” he said.

When asked about the youngsters in the side, the 52-year-old said he was happy with what they were bringing to the table. However, he admitted there was plenty of scope for improvement.

“We all know that they are good players but in football making one year very good and making progress you need to work hard and they will work hard. I see the space where they can improve. We will work together tactically to improve them because they can do it.

“As a coach I believe if you work hard, you can get what you deserve and I believe they deserve so much and with the good work they can make a good career. They can improve because they are young and they are the future.”

Bandovic also revealed his plans for the Chennaiyin FC pre-season that is starting later this week. “…We start the training on September 26. I spoke to the club about 6-7 friendly games but …it’s a difficult situation, we need to see which teams are free and when it’s good for them and us to play friendly matches,” he said.

Bandovic finally appealed to the fans for their support in the upcoming season, stressing their backing was very important for the club. “They are our 12th player. It’s for every club but specially for us it is very important. I want to meet them, play in front of them because they support the team in every situation. Their support is very important. We are missing them so much,” he said.


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