Happy with our start, but there’s lot to improve: Chennaiyin FC’s Bozidar Bandovic

Chennaiyin FC head coach Bozidar Bandovic was pleased with his side’s attacking as well as defensive performance in the 2-1 win over NorthEast United in the Hero Indian Super League (ISL) match at the Pandit Jawaharlal Nehru stadium in margao, Goa but called his players to keep their feet on the ground.

The two-time champions have made a brilliant start to the Hero ISL season, winning their first two matches and have looked solid defensively. Bandovic will also be encouraged by the performances of his Indian players who have stepped up to the plate.

Bandovic addressed the media at the end of the game and here are the excerpts from his press conference.

You had said that the attack needs to improve so are you happy with the attacking side of the win today?

Yes I'm happy but in football it's not just about attacking because everybody talks about it. There is defending too and when we have the ball we need to attack well and when we don't have the ball we need to be aggressive in a similar way and defend well. Yes, I'm happy and we can't fix this in two months. We need time. In football there are no shortcuts. We need time, we need to improve more, we need to work more tactically and physically.

Apart from the individual error, the defence was very solid today. What are your thoughts on the defensive side of things?

I believe we defended very well. Of course, there were some individual mistakes but this will happen but then the most important thing for me is that I don't want players to be afraid of making mistakes because if you don't make mistakes, you don't improve and you can never find out where you can reach. So yes there were mistakes but what is more important that you learn from your mistakes. Whatever the result, if they give everything, I will support them all the way.

How do you rate the season so far? The team has been solid and they have found goals when they have needed it the most.

I'm happy because we built this team in a very short period of time and we have been preparing for seven weeks. And as you know we have many new players so we still need time and I'm happy for us that we won this game, the second game in a row. Congratulations to my players. All credit goes to them. In the league, there are very strong teams with good coaches so there are no easy games and we need to prepare and look game-by-game. For us at this moment, the only thing important is the next game.

You have started with Rahim Ali, an Indian striker for two consecutive games. What qualities have you seen in him that you continue to persist with him?

I think if I'm not wrong we are the only team that plays with a domestic striker. I believe they need support because he has quality, he has potential and he has space to improve more. He has good quality, he has good speed, he can play three positions. So he needs to improve more and he can do that by training as well as playing games. So I think everyone needs to be happy that one team is at least playing with a domestic player as a striker because we are all here to improve Indian football.

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