ISL- Indian Super League

Proud of CFC’s fighting spirit, says Bozidar Bandovic after JFC win

January 3 2022
Bozidar Bandovic
(Courtesy : ISL Media)

The 52-year-old also opened up on keeping Greg Stewart quiet on Sunday night.

Chennaiyin FC played out yet another grinding victory in the Indian Super League (ISL) against Jamshedpur FC on Sunday. Bozidar Bandovic and his boys dug deep and showed tremendous grit to clinch three points against a wasteful Jamshedpur FC side.

Lukasz Gikiewicz finally broke his scoring duck for the club. He scored the only goal of the game in the 31st minute, heading off a free-kick by Vladimir Koman. It eventually turned out to be the winner as the Marina Machans defended well to keep Greg Stewart and co at bay. The win took Chennaiyin FC to 14 points, only two off the top spot on the standings. More importantly, it got them back to winning ways after chastening defeats against Kerala Blasters and Bengaluru FC.

Following the match, Bozidar Bandovic looked delighted while answering questions from the press in the post-match conference.

The result and performance

Bozidar Bandovic spoke in glowing terms of his side’s performance on the night. The tactician praised his side’s focus to get three points off Owen Coyle’s men.

“I think we were very good tactically and we showed discipline and full concentration. It was really tough for the boys as we were coming back from two defeats. So I would use our slogan, ‘All in for Chennayin’ and these boys give everything for the club and it makes me proud. The spirit and the fight that they showed was great,” he began.

“We obviously had a very difficult time before this. We couldn’t play (Nerijus) Valskis, Ariel (Borysiuk) is injured, and (Vladimir) Koman was sick last night. So we didn’t know if he would be able to play or not. That’s why he also asked for the change as he couldn’t handle it anymore,” he added.

Keeping Greg Stewart quiet

Chennaiyin FC’s defensive might helped them keep their third clean sheet of the season. An important part of the victory was keeping Jamshedpur FC talisman Greg Stewart off the scoresheet. The Scot has been performing very well this season, with nine goal contributions in eight games.

But he wasn’t able to add to his tally on the night as Chennaiyin FC effectively marked him to decrease his potency. Bandovic described his plan to neutralize the former Rangers’ man’s threat on the night.

When asked about the same, he replied, “It was difficult with a lot of second balls and crosses. Of course, we analyzed their games and looked at his movements. We analyzed where he is dangerous so the boys did very well defensively. They double-marked him wherever he was in space so we did that very well.”

Bringing in positive changes and on healthy competition

The game against Jamshedpur FC saw Bozidar Bandovic make some changes to his side. The most significant being bringing Debjit Majumder in for his club debut for Vishal Kaith. Kaith missed his first game for the club since joining the Marina Machans.

Debjit put in a solid performance on Sunday night, although he wasn’t tested for the majority of the game. Speaking of Debjit’s performance, Bandovic clearly indicated his plans for the goalkeepers.

“I think he had a good game. We always see and play as a team. We win and lose as a team. So I always try to make decisions that are best for the team. At this moment, it is Debjit to play and Vishal to take a break after all this. So we are helping both of them,” he quipped.

Another new change was visible in the stands as Nerijus Valskis was in attendance. The Lithuanian oversaw the game between both clubs that he has featured for in the ISL. Meanwhile, Lukasz Gikiewicz finally opened his account for Chennaiyin FC. The Polish forward put in his best performance in a Chennaiyin FC shirt.

Bandovic was asked whether the return of Valskis might have influenced any upturn. Straying away from competition, the tactician answered, “I don’t think so. We needed one goal from a set piece as we have been working very hard in training. I’m very happy that he scored the goal and that we won the game. Now we will wait and see how Valskis does.”

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