In the 2020-21 edition of the Indian Super League (ISL) in Goa, two-time title-winner Chennaiyin had inspired little under Csaba Laszlo and finished eighth in the standings. Fully aware of what is expected out of him in the next ISL season, Bandovic, who recently put pen to paper on a one-year deal with CFC, sounded extremely confident. A two-time Thai Premier League champion with Buriram United FC, Bandovic of Montenegro is keen on adding the ISL title to an already impressive CV. In a conversation with DT Next, the 51-year-old spoke about the Chennaiyin challenge, the ISL and more.
On choosing Chennaiyin FC
I had offers and spoke to some people. The Chennaiyin management impressed me so much. I also heard good things about the club. I wanted a new challenge in a new country, so I followed my instinct and decided to join CFC.
On making his Indian football debut in ISL 2021-22
My experience in Thailand will help me while managing Chennaiyin. I believe that I am an easy person to communicate with as I support the players and my fellow staff. I don’t have a problem when people make mistakes. I just want all of them to give their best, nothing else.
On his philosophy or style of play
Firstly, we need to complete the squad. Then, we will see how to use the players in the best way. We will try to control the match and play effective football. Obviously, there will be tactics and principles, which the players will be made aware of. So, playing effective football and winning matches are the most important things for me as a head coach.
On CFC’s current crop of Indian youngsters
I worked with a lot of young players at Buriram United FC. Some of them have already gone to the next level. I will try to do the same with the Chennaiyin youngsters because they have good quality in their game. But, guys like Anirudh Thapa, Lallianzuala Chhangte, Jerry Lalrinzuala and Rahim Ali need to understand that there is space for improvement.
On the recruitment of overseas players
Rafael Crivellaro has signed for us, so we need to fill up the remaining five slots. Like other teams, we are having difficulties in finding players who are willing to come to India and are free at the same time. We are looking at players with good quality and character. As foreigners, they will have to make a difference on the pitch.
On his objectives for the upcoming ISL season
The team had a disappointing campaign in ISL 2020-21. The primary goal is to make it to the top-four while the main target is to win the trophy. I want our team to be at its best this year. We will take it step by step and see how it goes.