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ISL 2020-21: Chennaiyin FC coach Csaba Laszlo – Indian players can decide a game

The former Uganda and Lithuania national team coach professed the importance of having quality Indian players in the squad…

Chennaiyin FC started their 2020-21 Indian Super League (ISL) campaign under new coach Csaba Laszlo on a winning note as they defeated Jamshedpur FC 2-1 in their opener. The mood in the Chennaiyin FC camp is upbeat ahead of facing Kerala Blasters at the GMC Stadium in Bambolim, Goa, in the second of Sunday’s double header that has Jamshedpur take on Odisha first.

“We know our opponent (Kerala Blasters) very well. The coach (Kibu Vicuna) spends his second year in India and knows Indian football very well but generally he’s new in the team. I am also new but the most important thing is the reaction from the team,” he stated.

“We have to control the game and sometimes, we have to also control ourselves. I think we will continue what we began with. We have our style and we will try to work on our style. Hopefully, we can collect three points which is the most important (thing).”

Blasters will play their third game of the season and are yet to register full points after suffering a defeat on the opening day followed by a draw. 

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As the Blasters are set to play their third game this season as the Chennaiyin gaffer opines that it wouldn’t necessarily be an advantage for their opponents. He was asked whether Kerala having played a game more would help them get their team cohesion better.

“All teams played just two or three games in the pre-season, maybe four. We (Chennaiyin coaching staff) also came very late and I didn’t have much time with the team for this reason. Sometimes I wished to have more (pre-season friendly) games but to tell you whether this is a fortune or not I can tell you after the game,” answered the former Dundee United coach.

“Sometimes the best training sessions are games and this could be an advantage for Kerala, but if you look at the recovery time, we had a little bit more but we will also face less time for recovery in the next games,” he was quick to add.

Laszlo used all of his seven foreigners during the course of the last game but maintained the importance of having quality Indian players in the squad. He reiterated the importance of developing the Indian contingent which in turn, would help the Indian national team and the ISL as well in the long run.

“It’s true that when you have good Indian players, you can decide a game. It’s a sort of an advantage as everybody keeps talking about the foreigners and what qualities they have but as I told before, I have an eye on the Indian talent because they are the future. If you want to have a good league and a good national team, you need to develop this Indian talent. 

“In the last game I used all seven foreigners but on the other side, you have to see that German (Germanpreet Singh), (Rahim) Ali also came in the game. (Lallianzuala) Chhangte, (Anirudh) Thapa, Reagan (Reagan) all had a very good (outing). I think these (Indian) players can decide a game and it’s also important who comes off the bench. For example, when we took Deepak (Tangri) and Rafael (Crivellaro) out, we had the option of bringing other quality players like German and Thapa took over the role from Rafael really well,” he explained.

Could youngsters like Aman Chetri and Abhijit Sarkar also see game time in the near future?

“It depends. Normally you don’t change the winning team, but in the upcoming games everybody will definitely get a chance.”

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