The Chennaiyin FC head coach also defended the Marina Machans’ backline after the win over Odisha FC.
Chennaiyin FC finally brought their winless run to an end against Odisha FC in the Indian super League. The head coach, Csaba Laszlo shuffled his side for the game with new signing Isma returning to action to great effect.
The attacker scored a brace to send the Marina Machans to fifth spot in the table. The Romanian boss addressed the media after the game.
Chennaiyin FC lie near the top of the Indian Super League table when it comes to chances created. However, they have found it difficult to convert these opportunities into goals, with a number of almost farcical misses in recent games.
The match against Odisha FC came as a huge relief to manager Csaba Laszlo, who was full of praise for his attackers and his Portuguese striker in particular.
“I was very unsatisfied with Isma, after he went injured. After injury, he worked to come back. I told him, ‘Look, if you want to be a part of this team, you have to show, not just to show goals, you have to work.’ He understood and now I am happy that he (did) what we brought him in (for).
“Hopefully, this was a very important signal also for himself. I don’t think that somebody is against him. He has to understand that the team is the most important and if you can win and you can be a part (of it), everybody will love you.”
Competition for places
Isma’s return to the side saw Jakub Sylvestr drop to the bench for the Marina Machans. The Slovakian attacker has had a tough time in front of goal this campaign, much like the rest of the Chennaiyin squad.
With Isma seemingly finding his goalscoring form, Sylvestr will have to fight his way back into contention for a starting berth, posing a very good problem for their head coach Csaba Laszlo.
“I was also pleased with Jakub. He came in for 15 minutes and he was running and working. This is also competition, this is good, the competition is there. We showed also that we can play (them) together, Isma and Jakub. I wish to have two very good strikers and this will be my problem, a sweet problem.”
Brazilian Marcelinho found himself in the Odisha starting lineup ahead of their top scorer Diego Mauricio. However, the former Hyderabad FC man failed to have any impact on the game, being taken off at half-time.
When asked if he had been caught off guard by Marcelinho’s inclusion, the Chennaiyin FC head coach had this to say.
“Yes and no. I was a little bit surprised because I was thinking that he will begin with two real strikers and not with Marcelinho. But, the first half, definitely we had more ball possession in midfield. We scored the goals, but I think that Marcelinho is a good player.”
While the Marina Machans finally seemed to be clicking in attack, the side looked shaky and nervy on a few occasions at the back. However, Csaba Laszlo jumped to the defence of his back four, who have been resolute more often than not this season.
“I don’t think that we had too many gaps. You have to know that we are the team that, until now, we get not so many goals from (the opposition). I think we deserve this.”