New coach Bozidar Bandovic says team priority is to be in the top four, after disappointing ISL season

Chennaiyin FC’s new head coach Bozidar Bandovic has his work cut out for him.

While creative midfielder Rafael Crivellaro of Brazil has been selected, there are five positions left to fill for foreigners. Those who are selected will have to integrate with Indian players as soon as possible.

The 51-year-old Montenegro, who has extensive experience and knowledge in managing top clubs in Eastern Europe and the Balkan region such as Red Star Belgrade and Olympiacos, not to mention his successful stint with Buriram United in Thailand, should be ready for the huge challenge. Especially after Chennaiyin suffered a bad season finishing eighth on the table.

In an interview with The Hindu, Bandovic said the team’s priority is to be in the top four. “Yes. The team had a bad season last year. Of course now we will start bringing in the players. They will help the team more and make a difference on the pitch and of course we will try to improve the team both on offense and defense and will do anything to score more goals and be in a better position on the table to be in the top four, “he said.

While declining to critically analyze the previous coach for the disastrous spectacle, Bandovic said the team’s 17 goals, including few penalties, were clearly not enough if the team needed to win. . “I watched the games, but I can’t judge my colleagues because every coach does their best. The team [Chennaiyin] hasn’t even won a single home game. Of the 17 goals, if I’m right, four or five were scored from the penalty spot, and if you want to be in the top four, that’s very little for a team. But we have to improve, especially in attack, ”he said.

He praised the increase in the number of Indian Super League players from six to seven, but insisted that it is the club’s responsibility to improve its domestic players.

“… But of course, if our [India’s] the young players are showing good performance, we will try to improve them and we will also try to improve some defense players. But for me, the main thing is to improve the national players. Of course, the change [number of players] is a point but the coaches of the team or the Academy will have to work very hard and [put] quality work to improve national players, ”he said, stressing that the key for him will be to keep the ball, control the game and at the same time score as many goals.

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