The manager spoke on the back of his side opening match win against Hyderabad FC.

Chennaiyin FC opened their 2021-22 ISL campaign with a tight 1-0 win against Hyderabad FC. The Marina Machans snatched the win from the Nizams, who would feel hard done by considering the level of domination they had on the game. But, the two-time champions showed defensive sturdiness and composure in the second half to see the game through. They open their campaign with important three points. The game was a far cry from the high-scoring games that have characterized this season so far. Chennaiyin FC head coach Bozidar Bandovic was happy with the character shown by his team. However, he also insisted his team could do better.

Hyderabad FC started the game well and looked to have scored when Edu Garcia flicked a free-kick home. But centre-back Chinglensana was deemed to be in an offside position and interfering with the goalkeeper’s sight. The goal was, therefore, ruled out. Manuel Marquez’s side also came close to finding the net on multiple occasions. However, striker Bartholomew Ogbeche had an off day and squandered several opportunities, while substitute Nikhil Poojary also skied one from two meters out. The Machans scored through a Vladimir Koman penalty in the 68th minute after Anirudh Thapa was brought down by Hitesh Sharma inside the penalty box.

Here’s what Chennaiyin FC head coach Bozidar Bandovic said at the post-match press conference:

Need for discipline & compactness

Bandovic expressed his satisfaction with the result. He replied, “We’ve seen games that have been wild having chance after chance (referring to the previous games). But, I don’t like these kind of games. First of all, I want discipline and I want my team to be compact.”

Watch: Chennaiyin FC coach Bozidar Bandovic shares his thoughts on the win over Hyderabad FC

On second-half performance

But, Bandovic would see plenty of room for improvement for Chennaiyin FC, especially considering their first half performance. Speaking on the performance and result, he replied, “We need to play better, especially in attack because I know my team can do that and they have done that during preparation. I was not happy because we lost a lot of balls in the first half and they attacked. That is natural when one team has more of the possession. But we came out in the second half better and this will surely help us with the confidence.

“First of all, we weren’t good enough in attack because we lost so many balls. But, we need to have a balance. As a coach, I want us to attack better and the second half was better. We came out and defended very well, but the first half was not good. I believe if you win these games, you show character. I’m sure we will be better in the next game,” Bandovic added.

Bozidar Bandovic’s men will face NorthEast United in their next game next Monday, 29 November. Hyderabad FC will look to open their account against the defending champions Mumbai City FC on Saturday, 27 November.

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