The Romanian expressed his views ahead of his side’s clash against Jamshedpur FC.

Last season’s runners-up, Chennaiyin FC take on Jamshedpur FC – led by former boss Owen Coyle, in their first match of the 2020-21 Indian Super League (ISL). New head coach Csaba Laszlo and newly-appointed club captain Rafael Crivellaro took questions from the media in the build-up to the match.

The Chennaiyin FC boss was asked about the lengths the players and staff had to go to, to get themselves to India amidst the difficult conditions caused by the COVID-19 pandemic. “I don’t think that this is actually a big problem because we adapted very quick and very good. I just concentrate about the football. I think the most important is for every team to stay safe, to not get COVID-19 and to not get injuries.”

Adding to this, club captain Rafael Crivellaro spoke about the difficulties he had faced in obtaining his visa, joining up with the squad a little later than planned, as a result. Talking about the honour of his newly-bestowed captaincy, the Brazilian midfielder spoke about his pride and assured the fans that the responsibility would not affect his performances on the pitch.

“I am very happy and honoured to be captain. It’s a pleasure, but for me, it will not change the style and the way I play football. Most important thing is to help the players, to make good passes for my strikers and score goals. My target is to go to the top four. I’m very happy and I think we can do a great season again.”

Further, Czaba Laszlo was questioned about the impact that the former CFC boss and now Jamshedpur FC coach, Owen Coyle’s connections and knowledge of the football club may have on the proceedings in Tuesday’s game.

“Everybody knows everybody. It is no secret in football. I think also that our team changed a little bit. We lost some players, we got also some new players. So generally, I don’t think that it will affect the game too much,” quoted Csaba Laszlo.

The Romanian addressed the difficulties of a shortened pre-season, having come into a new side in what is a new league to him. “This is not easy, not only for me but for everyone else. But generally, I have some experience. I am a football coach and what can we do? We can go to train, to build up the self-confidence. We know that time is short.”

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“I see everything positive. The most important thing is on the pitch. I think we take every game positive and we have to go for every game like this.”

Csaba Laszlo also asserted that he would impose his identity on the squad, despite the constraints of time as well as the restrictions enforced as part of the bio-bubble.

When asked about the likes of Anirudh Thapa, Lallianzuala Chhangte and their impact on the side, Raphael Crivellaro waxed lyrical about their potential and their importance for the upcoming campaign. “For me, Chhangte and Thapa are the best of what you have in India and for sure, they will be the future. I love the way Thapa plays, I love him. I love the way Chhangte plays.”

Finally, the Brazilian addressed the considerable absence of top scorer Nerijus Valskis, who joined Jamshedpur during the summer transfer window and how the team would make up for the goals he provided with the new signings.

“Last season was a fantastic season for everybody in the team. Not only Valskis, but Chhangte, he scored many goals, (Andre) Schembri, he scored many goals. We had a fantastic attack. But, football is like that. Now, we are in different teams and have new players. They are very good too and my target is to make it better.”

Chennaiyin FC and Jamshedpur FC kick off their match at 7:30PM IST at the Tilak Maidan stadium on Tuesday the 24th of November.

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