It is going to be a big success for us to finish in the top four: Chennaiyin FC head coach Bozidar Bandovic

Chennaiyin FC head coach Bozidar Bandovic is adamant to use the loopholes in FC Goa’s game in their favour, as the two sides are set to lock horns in the Hero Indian Super League (ISL) 2021-22 at the Tilak Maidan Stadium, Vasco, on Wednesday evening.

Chennaiyin FC need nothing less than a win to remain alive in the title hunt. They are currently placed at the eighth position in the league table, with 19 points from 15 matches, which includes five wins and four draws. The two-time champions lost to Mumbai City FC in their previous match by a solitary goal.

Bandovic addressed the media during the pre-match press conference ahead of Wednesday’s game.

Here are the excerpts from the press conference:

Chennaiyin FC failed to register a single shot on target in the previous game. How do you look to turn things around and do you think the team is having a problem scoring goals?

Yes. I think sometimes when we play well, we had chances, but we didn't score the goals. But now we have this team and we need to try our best. I think tactically, last game we did some things very well, but we made so many mistakes with the ball in our feet when we were not under the pressure. And, this was the one thing that we need to fix for the future, but the boys had a very good effort and they gave everything on the field for this game.

Your team will face FC Goa in the next match. They are a team which likes to keep the ball, so there will be a battle in the midfield. What are your thoughts about that?

(FC Goa are a) technical team, they like to play from the back. They had some problems when they were pressed hard. We see the moments, what we can do. We tried it in the Mumbai City FC game, but they didn't try to build that from the back, they played long balls. So, the second thing is, they have very technical players, they want to keep the ball. They want to press high. And sometimes, if the opponent presses very high, of course, you need to play with the long balls. But, we are preparing and the midfield needs to be very strong, now that we don't have (Vladimir) Koman and probably I will move up Ariel (Borysiuk) in the middle.

Chennaiyin FC have five matches remaining in the season, do you think there is still a chance for them to qualify for the semi-finals?

Difficult, but there's always chances, we have to give everything and we have to try everything. I'm always honest when these key players are out, we don't have options. We have options but those are not the same. So you see, it's very clear, that's what I'm saying. I said even before, maybe when you hear this, it's difficult to accept that. I said that it's going to be a big success for us to finish in the top four.

Do you think a football team has an obligation to entertain fans? Would you put proficiency before entertainment, what is your philosophy?

You have a balance between attacking and defending. If you look even in the statistics, there's somebody saying that we are playing defensive. If you see the statistics, there are most of the clubs coming close to creating chances, even us. So the system is not the problem. So what I believe is in this moment, without any excuses for myself, because I have contract (till) 30th March. Whatever the thing, the club is the best, I will support them and they know everything. I explained everything. Everything is very clear. I know the team about all the things, what they need to improve, with me or without me, so the situation is very clear.

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