Chennaiyin FC head coach Bozidar Bandovic is wary of the stiff competition that his team is about to face in the last seven matches of the season, as they prepare for a challenging fight against SC East Bengal in their Hero Indian Super League (ISL) 2021-22 match at the Tilak Maidan Stadium in Vasco, Goa on Wednesday.

The Chennai-based team is currently in seventh spot on the league table, with 18 points from 13 matches. On the other hand, SC East Bengal are at the bottom of the points table, with just nine points from 14 matches.

Head coach Bandovic and player Vladimir Koman addressed the media during the pre-match press conference.

Here are the excerpts from the press conference:

Are you upset that Chennai FC have lost Chhangte midway through the season?

Bandovic: I think his contract should have been done a long time ago, not to wait. I talked to him many times, he's a good player. And I told him that he needs to stay in the club, this club needs to be built on him. So he told me that a club has offered him a contract, and his decision was to leave the club at the end of the year after his contract is finished, and to go to Mumbai. And after that, we talked many times and he called me and we had meetings and he told me that he wants to leave, which would be better for his future.

How confident are you of qualifying for the semi-finals? You had a five-day gap ahead of the next game, how has the preparation been?

Bandovic: I always believed in the team and it is going to be tough, the next seven games, the next game is very important. We want to prepare, analyze the opponent. As I said before, for us to complete in the top four this season, it's going be a big success.

So how do you expect your players to respond after the thumping defeat against Bengaluru?

Bandovic: The players showed very good character and they know that this game is very important for us. We must win that game, try to win second balls.

Chennaiyin FC midfielder Vladimir Koman also addressed the questions from the media.

Here are the excerpts:

You are an experienced player and have been in such situations before, what is your message for the players ahead of the remaining games?

Koman: They know what to do, we don't have pressure. We need to find our self motivation day by day. So, this is tough, this is tough for everybody. This is what we have. So we go about all our games with our 100% and we try to do what we can do so. Sometimes it happens, what we want to do, what we plan to do, but sometimes it doesn't happen. So it's too many ups and downs but this is what we have. So my message to the players is that we don't have pressure, we just need to play, we need to put our character on the field and do what we can do. That's it.

How has been your experience playing alongside Nerijus Valskis?

Koman: I think I played two games with him (Nerijus Valskis), so we can make some combinations, we need more time you know it's not enough for us, we need more time to play together but I think this is this is not a problem because if somebody has has quality in the field, you can find each other, so I think this is not a problem to strike contact with the player. So, until now, what I did with other players, now I'm doing with the (Valskis. So, we are rotating a bit and trying to find the best way for us.