Chennaiyin assistant coach Sabir Pasha on Wednesday revealed that Crivellaro sustained a muscle injury recently, but said that the premier playmaker is recovering well. Due to the setback, the 32-year-old Crivellaro wasn’t involved in any of CFC’s five pre-season matches between October 21 and November 16 in Goa.
“Rafael had an injury, but he is getting better (with each day). We are staying positive. We are in a stage where we don’t want to risk him. He is an important player for the team, so we have been monitoring him closely. He will be back soon and will do his duties,” Sabir, one of head coach Bozidar Bandovic’s two assistants, told reporters at a virtual presser.
“He has started training with us (again). He has been doing things which we want him to do. He will start doing intense workouts in the coming days. I think that he will be alright (soon). He is pretty positive,” Sabir, who has been associated with the two-time ISL title-winner since 2016, said of the ex-Chennaiyin captain.
It is to be recalled that Brazilian stylist Crivellaro had headed home midway through the previous ISL season – in Goa – owing to an ankle injury. When the attacking midfielder reported for the pre-season camp in Goa in September, Chennaiyin was boosted by his return but the southern club has now been dealt a fresh blow.
‘CFC has a settled look’
During the online press conference, Sabir also spoke about Bandovic’s work methods and CFC’s preparation. “When it comes to the (current) head coach, he is clear in what he says. He doesn’t hide anything. He tells the players what the targets are, where they stand and the areas they can improve. Be it Balaji (Ganesan) who is the youngest or Rafa who is the senior-most, he gives importance to each and every player,” said Sabir.
“We tried many combinations during the pre-season games. A number of new players have come into the team. The matches helped us understand the new players better. The guys have been showing great progress and gelling well as a unit. We have a settled look now,” added Sabir.