Chennaiyin FC have sacked head coach Bozidar Bandovic following the club’s 5-0 loss to FC Goa.

The Chennai-franchise dropped down to the eighth spot in the 11-team table, and hopes of a playoff spot have diminished significantly – they trail fourth-place ATK Mohun Bagan, who occupy the last playoff spot, by four points. The Kolkata club, however, has three more games in hand.

Under the Montenegrin coach, Chennaiyin FC managed five wins, four draws and seven losses after 16 matches. However, it was the recent defeat to Goa, the club’s worst loss in its history, that prompted the club’s management to sack Bandovic.

“Chennaiyin FC and Bozidar Bandovic have mutually parted ways following their 0-5 loss defeat to FC Goa in the Indian Super League on Wednesday – the heaviest loss endured by the club in it’s history,” read a statement made by the club.

In Bandovic’s place, the club will now promote assistant coach Syed Sabir Pasha as interim manager. The 49-year-old, a Tamil Nadu native, is a former India player who turned up 68 times for the national team.

“The team’s assistant coach Syed Sabir Pasha will take over in the interim. Pasha has served as the assistant coach to the first team since 2017. The former India international turned out for Indian Bank in his playing career from 1991 to 2007,” the statement continued.

“Over the years, we’ve lost and won. But as a club, losing like this is something we cannot stand by and watch. And for now, we have full confidence in Sabir to see the season through,” added co-owner Vita Dani.

Chennaiyin FC have four more games left to play in this season – against Odisha FC, Jamshedpur FC, Kerela Blasters and ATKMB.