Chennaiyin FC coach Bozidar Bandovic has said that his team will not take Northeast United lightly despite it failing to secure a win in two games in the ISL 2021-22 season.
“We’ll take it game by game. It doesn’t matter if they got one point from two games, we need to concentrate and be serious,” he said on Sunday.
“They are a dangerous team and they did very well last season. We need to concentrate. There is no easy game.”
The ‘Marina Machans‘ began the new season with a narrow win over Hyderabad FC, but the coach said there was scope for improvement and it was only a matter of time that the team would retain the ball better.
READ: Chennaiyin FC has a balance of attack and defence under Bandovic, says Edwin Vanspaul
“We need to improve attacking and retaining the ball; we need to be stronger in our duels; we need second balls and we need to work on our counter attack,” he said.
“In the last game, my players had a big desire to win the game and, in the course, did lose their concentration and I believe in the next game, we will do much better.”
Chennaiyin will be without its midfield talisman Rafael Crivellaro, who was ruled out with a groin injury and is expected to be out of action for at least four weeks.
“Rafa is an important player and in his injury, we need to look at players that are ready to play and we need to help him recover. My team (my philosophy) doesn’t depend on one player; we need to continue working without him,” Bandovic said.
Vladimir Koman, who scored the winning goal in the last match, said that his target was to better the team as much as he could.
“I hope with this first win, we can give confidence to the other players. Scoring in the first game is always nice, especially if we win the game (double satisfaction),” he said.
“This league is a nice league, a hard league. I can tell you that the first game was enjoyable – the moments and the atmosphere. I want to win the championship with my team, to get in the top four and I want to be the champion,” he added.
The two-time ISL Champion side had a dismal season last year, finishing fourth from bottom and its manager, Csaba Laszlo, leaving the club. As it gears up for the clash against Northeast United at the Fatorda Stadium on Monday, it will hope to build on its title hopes sooner than later with a new coach and a fresh set of players.