Chennaiyin FC head coach Csaba Laszlo has opined that performing in front of empty stands would be challenging for the players and that they need to prepare themselves psychologically to overcome it. The ISL will begin on November 21, with the matches to be played across three stadiums in Goa.
A few months ago, it was uncertain whether the Indian Super League would happen at all, with the coronavirus pandemic causing serious issues. But following the footsteps of European leagues, Football Sports Development Limited (FSDL) decided to stage the new season behind closed doors. Goa has been selected as a centralised venue for the ISL, with the matches to be played across three stadiums. But Csaba Laszlo, the newly appointed head coach of Chennaiyin FC, has admitted that the footballers will face a huge challenge playing in front of empty stands and added that they need to prepare themselves psychologically to overcome it.
"Yes it is a challenge. Our players are used to the fans passionately supporting them in the stadium. But now it will be reduced to them supporting us only virtually and through social media. We need to be prepared psychologically," said Csaba Laszlo, to PTI.
"And I think now people will notice the game even more closely in an empty stadium. We have to create a positive atmosphere within the team. And to know that our fans are always with us. If we can do this, we can overcome the hurdle of playing in an empty stadium," added the manager.
The 2020-21 ISL is set to start on November 21 with bio-secure bubbles in place. 10 teams have been allotted practice grounds in Goa and they have been divided into three groups, based on their standings last season. Defending champions ATK-Mohun Bagan, FC Goa and Bengaluru FC will play their home matches at the Fatorda Stadium. Chennaiyin FC, Kerala Blasters FC, Mumbai City FC, and Jamshedpur FC will base out of G.M.C Stadium in Bambolin, while the rest three will host their matches at the Tilak Maidan, in Vasco.