Former champions Chennaiyin and Bengaluru are going through a rough patch, with both hoping to hand themselves an early New Year present. ISL 2015 and 2017-18 title-winner CFC (11 points from 7 matches) has collected only 5 points from its last 5 clashes while Season 5 victor BFC (6 points from 8 matches) is on a seven-match winless streak.
Chennaiyin head coach Bozidar Bandovic is focused on getting his team back to winning ways, having been torn asunder during the demoralising 0-3 defeat to Kerala Blasters FC in its previous encounter last week. “We had a week to recover and prepare, so we need to be ready,” said Bandovic at the pre-match media interaction on Wednesday.
“Bengaluru is a strong team; it is dangerous in set-pieces. It has won just one match, but it is still a dangerous team. We are coming into this game on the back of a loss, but I am sure that we will do better [against BFC],” added Montenegrin boss Bandovic.
“We have made many mistakes and conceded many goals [in recent matches], but the worst thing is to blame the players. I am happy with my team and players; they give everything [on the pitch] and work very hard. It is going to be a big challenge until the end.” When asked if CFC would reinforce its squad in the winter transfer window, which will open in two days, Bandovic was tight-lipped and gave nothing away.
“I work as if I am going to stay at the club for five years. I always think about the future. In the coming days, the club will make announcements. You will know what we spoke and decided [regarding the activity in January 2022],” said Bandovic, who also stated that long-term absentee Rafael Crivellaro is yet to return to training since incurring a muscle injury.
Wednesday’s result: ATK Mohun Bagan 2 (L Colaco 23, R Krishna 56) bt FC Goa 1 (J Ortiz 81)