The Chennaiyin FC boss also shed light on his defensive line-up for the Hyderabad FC game.

Chennaiyin FC will be up against their southern counterparts Hyderabad FC and will be playing their fifth home match of ISL 2022-23 at the Marina Arena. Chennaiyin FC won their last home game against Jamshedpur FC (3-1) which was their first home win. Nasser El Khayati was the silver lining in their loss against Odisha FC in the last encounter and will be looking to make it to the playing XI for the first time this season. Coach Thomas Brdaric was assisted by winger Prasanth K to the pre-match press conference.

Here’s what they said.

Will Nasser El Khayati feature in the playing XI?

El Khayati has scored four goals in four matches (in the limited game-time) he has played. In all the games, he has featured as a substitute and is likely to start against Hyderabad FC.

Brdaric quipped, “We are working all the time to bring the best players to the ground who are able to win matches. Yes, Nasser El Khayati is fit and rearing to go from the start and is also a kind of creative player.”

Thoughts on Hyderabad FC

Hyderabad FC are one of the most consistent sides in the ISL for the past two seasons. The Nizams have lost the previous two encounters and currently occupy the second spot in the points table.

Thomas Brdaric said, “Hyderabad FC is an experienced team and is also the reigning champions. They have lost a couple of matches but we never underestimate any team. We are looking to exploit the situation and make strategies to play against them. We have a plan for tomorrow and will like to execute it.”

Concerns about Chennaiyin FC’s defence 

The Chennaiyin FC defence has been sloppy throughout the season. They conceded two goals against Odisha FC in the last encounter and shall now look to rectify the mistakes.

The head coach iterated, “Players on the field need to understand their responsibilities and play according to the situation. We have made a chain of errors in the defence and need to correct this. Also, the defence needs to learn how to play when the ball isn’t with them and these are the things we have been looking at in the training sessions.”

Chances of Indian CB getting gametime

Thomas Brdaric gave an interesting reply, “A simple response don’t be surprised tomorrow.”

Injury Updates

Chennaiyin FC have been suffering from many injuries since the start of the season. Captain Anirudh Thapa has not fully recovered and Alexander Romario Jesuraj hasn’t featured in any of the matchday squads to date.

The tactician said, “Unfortunately, Thapa and Jiteshwor (Singh) are still recovering who have been the wall for us in the midfield position. Romario and Narayan Das are back in training but need more time to get fully fit.”

Assessment after the defeat to Odisha FC in the last match

The match was heading for a draw against Odisha FC but a late goal from Nandhakumar Sekar dented Chennaiyin FC’s chance to get away with a draw after trailing by two goals.

Brdaric quipped, “It is a process and we do not want to repeat the same performance as last year. We are here to learn and correct mistakes and analyse how we can improve. I am not here to waste my time instead push the players to perform better. Along with the process, it is difficult to understand certain decisions made by the referees and the Federation should look into this and rectify it.”

Personal Goals and Targets 

Prasanth K has featured in all the matches played in ISL 2022-23 so far and has been impressive from the start. He scored the equalizer against Bengaluru FC which fetched Chennaiyin a point after trailing.

Prasanth said, “I do not share my personal goals but would like to play for the National team. Last season I did not get much game time but this season I am happy working under coach Brdaric and the CFC management.”

Team’s camaraderie after losing to Odisha FC

Prasanth iterated, “We were unhappy and sad after the loss to Odisha FC after making a good comeback when we were two goals down. We do not blame each other but encourage to do better in the next game and analyse our mistakes.”

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