The Chennaiyin FC boss spole followinghis team’s goalless draw against Bengaluru FC.

It was the same old tale for the two-time Indian Super League champions, Chennaiyin FC who failed to find the back of the net yet again, despite having a number of clear chances at goal. The game against Bengaluru FC ended all square, leaving both sides adrift of the coveted playoffs spots. A forlorn Csaba Laszlo addressed the media following another frustrating outing for his side.

Lack of luck

Chennaiyin failed to grab all three points against Bengaluru FC, despite having gone despairingly close to opening the scoring on multiple occasions. Football is often a game of fine margins and the dice does not seem to be falling in the team’s favour at the moment. Csaba Laszlo lamented the bad luck that his side faced over the course of the game against BFC.

“So many good games. In one season you cannot have so many good games and so many chances. We missed not only opportunities, but chances. (You could have won) two times, the league (with the chances we missed). Let’s keep going. Go and play football. Don’t give up. That is our destiny and we have to step up.”

Race for top four

Chennaiyin FC lie in eighth position in the table, with 17 points in 16 games. They are five points behind fourth-placed Hyderabad FC, who have a game in hand. With the race for the top four becoming tighter by the game, Laszlo’s side will have to put a winning run together in their last four games to keep their hopes of a playoffs spot alive.

“Every game in which you don’t get the three points is painful. I want to win every game and I try to prepare my team for victories, not for draws and not to lose. But, you have to accept it sometimes, when the opponent have a better day. The three points today (if we had gotten it) we could have closed the gap. But, I don’t give up because we have four games. If the performance is like today, maybe the football gods will touch us and we will score goals. Maybe, we have a chance and we don’t give up.”

Solid defensive performance

While CFC’s attack has failed in the ISL season, the side’s defence has gone from strength to strength. Enes Sipovic and Eli Sabia have formed a formidable partnership with the likes of Deepak Tangri and Memo stepping up when required. Csaba Laszlo hailed his defenders and their performances this season.

“In this game also, no chances (for BFC). I think that Vishal (Kaith) had a very quiet evening. For me, Bengaluru, before this season and also today, was a top team. To create so many chances and to not allow them chances, I don’t think it could be better.”

Anirudh Thapa’s fitness

Anirudh Thapa’s return came as a huge relief to head coach Laszlo. However, the midfielder lasted only 45 minutes before being replaced by Germanpreet Singh at half time. The coach reassured fans of the midfielder’s condition, asserting that the substitution was merely a precaution.

“He trained already one week. I planned to play him for 90 minutes. But, in the half-time he told me that he felt a little bit of pain and I decided on my own to protect him. I have to protect my players. It is not an injury; I just took him out.”

Lanzarote’s creative spark

Following the injury to Rafael Crivellaro, Chennaiyin brought in former FC Goa attacker Manuel Lanzarote as his replacement. The Spaniard was a threat all game, with his intricate passing and deadly set-pieces. Laszlo will be hoping that Lanzarote can have a talismanic influence on his side for the remainder of the campaign.

“This is what we missed all the time after Rafa went out. Lanzarote is not a player who is a great runner, but he is great on the ball and even today with his performance, he helped us to create these many chances. We have four games now and he will help us in the next games.”

Chennaiyin FC play their next match against Jamshedpur on the 10th of February 2021 at 7:30Pm IST.

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