Chennaiyin FC head coach Bozidar Bandovic pointed out areas where his team needs to improve ahead of their match against SC East Bengal in the Hero Indian Super League (ISL) at the Tilak Maidan, in Vasco de gama, Goa.

Chennaiyin FC have won two of their opening two matches this season and are now placed third in the points table. Meanwhile, SC East Bengal are in the 10th spot, with just one point to their name.

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

Here are the excerpts from the press conference:

With so little gap between games, how do you keep your players fresh?

We have a short gap between games, so we help the players recover, we analyse the game. Of course, we are looking at the statistics and analysing and preparing for the next opponents. We look at the opponents, all the moments, their training and keep the players focused and mentally ready for the upcoming game.

After assessing the two games played so far, what are the areas you think your team can improve?

Of course, we can improve, it’s difficult to field a team in two months. Of course we can play better, but this needs time, this work, physically, tactically. In December, we are going to have a game every three-four days, so we are not going to have any time for more work. But, I believe that we need to improve and I hope that we will play better, but till now I am satisfied with the team, despite all the difficulties we have had from the start.

Rahim Ali has failed so far as an individual player, are you going to stick with him in the next game?

About that (changing him) we will think tomorrow. But I don't want to use the  ‘fail’ for Rahim, he tried, he can do better, he knows this. So, it's only a matter of time that he will do better. I believe in him, I believe in all my players, so he did not fail. Maybe, he didn’t play the way he can. But, of course the most important thing is for the team to win, and we are trying to improve him (Rahim), show him something. He will understand and get better in the season. I am happy how he works, but we have realised that he can do better.

SC East Bengal have conceded a lot of goals from set-pieces, what are your thoughts regarding that going into the game?

Yeah, they have conceded a lot of goals from set-pieces. We have followed their game like they have followed ours. So, we are going to prepare for that. We are trying to be better in the next game. The coach of SC East Bengal will try to do the same, to avoid goals conceded from set pieces.

How do you rate Anirudh Thapa’s leadership skills, now that you have appointed him the captain?

I don’t rate him, I appointed him the captain because I believe in him. I know he is a leader, so I do not want to rate him for nothing. He knows what he needs to do and I trust him and not only me, the players and fans. He has been playing in this team for so many years. He has built his character, personality and career in this team. This is his team and he knows very well what to do.