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Home > Sports News > Football News > Article > Revamped Chennaiyin FC ready to fight for ISL title Asst coach Syed Sabir Pasha

Revamped Chennaiyin FC ready to fight for ISL title: Asst coach Syed Sabir Pasha

Updated on: 20 November,2021 08:09 AM IST  |  Mumbai
Ronald Chettiar | ronald.chettiar@mid-day.com

Former India forward reckons a strong pre-season has put the two-time champions in a good place as they gear up to battle for silverware in the 2021-22 ISL season

Revamped Chennaiyin FC ready to fight for ISL title: Asst coach Syed Sabir Pasha

Chennaiyin FC's assistant coach Syed Sabir Pasha. Pic/Chennaiyin FC

Former India footballer and Chennaiyin FC's (CFC) assistant coach Syed Sabir Pasha insists the two-time champions are in a transitional phase, but expressed confidence that a revamped team will put on a good show in the Indian Super League (ISL) Season-8 campaign. The Marina Machas kick off their 2021-22 season against Hyderabad FC at the Athletic Stadium in Bambolim on Tuesday.


Chennaiyin FC finished eighth with only three wins from 20 matches in the 11-team league last season and have roped in Montenegrin Bozidar Bandovic as coach. Apart from retaining Brazilian playmaker Rafael Crivellaro, CFC have also signed Polish midfielder Ariel Borysiuk and Kyrgyzstan forward Mirlan Murzaev to boost the squad.


“Practice sessions are going well. It’s difficult to gel when you have new players in the squad, but our pre-season has been going right for us and we have done well. The players are showing great progress as a unit. We played warm-up matches and players know what we require from them. We are settled now as a unit and ready to go,” said Pasha during a virtual press conference recently.


With an eye on getting the team combination right, CFC began their pre-season camp on September 26. They played five warm-up games against the other ISL clubs to allow new signings get match time. Despite a strong pre-season, the former India forward (1993-2001), is well aware that a strong competition awaits them and the team will have to capitalise on the chances in order to win matches.

“It’s not going to be easy for us or anyone. In ISL, it's all about how you perform on that particular day. Our immediate target is to win matches and we cannot do like last season, creating chances and not finishing. We just have to put the ball in the net. That's our main target,” added Pasha, who has been with Chennaiyin FC since 2016.

Players, similar to previous season, will continue to be in the bio-bubble and Pasha said fatigue won't be a problem for his side. "The challenges of playing in the bio-bubble are the same. We lived in the bubble last year, but the coaches and players who have been here for the first time might find it difficult," he explained.

"For us, it is the same. It is like one more year. It was difficult for us at the beginning of last year, but then, we adjusted to it and are aware of the challenges of bubble-life. Most importantly, we have to focus on football. Once the game starts, we will be fully focused on it, so I don't think it should be a big problem," he concluded.

Also Read: Borivli boy Johnson Matthews' journey from MSSA to ISL!

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