After scoring just three wins in 20 matches in the previous campaign, Chennaiyin FC will look to turn things around in the next Indian Super League season, which begins on Friday. The squad has undergone a complete overhaul and will start the season under new manager Bozidar Bandovic. Besides him, the double ISL champions also signed five new foreign recruits as well as promising Indian talents.
Despite the restructuring, Syed Sabir Pasha, a former Indian international and current assistant coach of Chennaiyin, is confident in a much improved show, supporting the team’s experience. “It’s mostly a new team but everyone is aware of the competition. The new foreign players have played at a great level, so the adaptation will not take much time. The transition period is there but with the amount of experience, the team will overcome that Players like Narayan Das, Salam Ranjan Singh, they played for the national team, “Pasha explained in a virtual media meeting hosted by the ISL club on Wednesday after- midday.
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He also says the club are ready to look past the big names this time around and players who meet Bandovic’s expectations will start in the XI. “The coach is new too, so you have to meet the requirements. It is important to know how a player understands the coach, the tactics. It is not about being a big player or a small one, the one who wants to deliver what the coach wants, this guy is playing, ”Pasha added of the club’s transition for the new season.
However, with new faces come new challenges, but the 49-year-old is happy with the way things are now and credits the bio-bubble for helping to build team bonds to some extent. . Meanwhile, the club have also played practice matches in their preparation for the main tournament, allowing management to try out as many combinations as possible to find the best fit. “We have played about five games where we have tried a lot of combinations and now we feel settled. We know what we need and the players are aware of what they have to deliver. These practice games have us. so helped in many ways to know the players who are new to the squad, ”Pasha said.
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“Whoever saw them play won’t mark this as a new team, it’s like they’ve been playing together for years,” he added.
Chennai had scored 17 times in the previous edition and the 41-year-old is “positive” that the tally will be much higher this season.
Can Rahim Ali reproduce his AFC U-23 campaign?
Rahim Ali, who had an impressive national appearance in the AFC Asian Under-23 Cup last month, is keen to stick to the basics and help the squad so much. that he is there on the ground.
Speaking about his role, the 21-year-old, who was also part of the fixture, said: “If I play as number 9 then my role is similar to the one I played during the Under 23 years old. I played singles football during the under 23s and I would look to do the same and I would like to help the team until I am in the game. “