While their southern neighbours, Kerala Blasters FC, savoured the sweet taste of qualifying for the semi-finals and then making it to the finals, Chennaiyin FC had a rather distasteful season, a forgettable one after not making the top four for the second consecutive season.

The Marina Machans had difficult moments during the season that saw the mid-season departure of head coach Bozidar Bandovic following their 0-5 defeat to FC Goa. 

Syed Sabir Pasha took over as interim head coach to finish the season and the team improved but the Indian felt the club need to assess their mistakes from the 2021-22 campaign and reset for the new season.

“The season did not go as expected for CFC. It was a disappointing performance indeed. With the kind of preparation we had and the splendid training despite the Covid situation, we should have done better,” Sabir spoke in an exclusive interview with The New Indian Express.

“It is difficult to pinpoint one reason; lack of coordination, not gelling as a unit and the quality of play are the reasons for our poor show.”

Also Read: Chennaiyin FC season review: A lack of goals and flair characterised another disappointing campaign

Things seemed to be moving well under head coach Bandovic until a mid-season slump saw him lose his job. Pasha revealed the challenges he faced while taking over a team that was short of confidence.

“The way results went, it was expected to happen. For me, the difficulty began when I took over as the coach of the team. I had the challenge of making players believe in themselves and play the way we wanted them to do. But at the end of it, coaching the team was a good learning experience,” insisted Sabir.

While boasting of a formidable side in the past with the likes of Stiven Mendoza, Elano Blumer, Marco Materazzi, Alessandro Nesta, an argument looms as to why Chennaiyin FC have been lacking the aggression when it comes on the field. Pasha called for a thorough analysis of the season to help the club plan better for the future. 

“It (poor tactics) also played a part, but we cannot blame it completely. It is here that video analysis plays an important role. One needs to study their games, ensure they do not repeat the same mistakes and try to come out with something new,” signed off Sabir.