The head coach also wished the new NEUFC boss luck ahead of the game.

Chennaiyin FC, who are currently placed seventh on the points table will be up against NorthEast United at Guwahati on Saturday. Thomas Brdaric’s side have lost both their previous encounters and will look to fight back against the struggling NorthEast United who have lost all the eight matches they have played so far.

One day prior to the game, Chennaiyin FC’s head coach Thomas Brdaric and midfielder Edwin Sydney Vanspaul attended the pre-match press conference. Here’s what they said.

Any change in tactics going forward?

Thomas Brdaric started, “We are preparing for the match against NorthEast United tomorrow who have struggled in the past but aren’t underestimating them as they have their strengths and weaknesses.”

Thoughts about NorthEast United who have a newly appointed coach

On Wednesday, NorthEast United parted ways with former coach Marco Balbul and have now appointed former Gokulam Kerala tactician Vincenzo Alberto Annese as the head coach.

The German quipped, “I wish Vincenzo all the best after taking over NorthEast recently. Our game plan will remain the same for tomorrow’s match and it will definitely be a tough one so we need to implement our ideas and perform well.”

Assessment of football in India

The head coach iterated, “India has got a lot of potentials. We had a coaching forum ahead of the ISL season where we discussed the areas to improve. There are talented players and we as coaches need to improve them to achieve more and play better. ISL is a good league with many teams performing well and the goal is to perform well in the league and make players improve on their mistakes.”

Injury Concerns

Chennaiyin FC announced the 21-member squad set to take part against NorthEast United yesterday. Anirudh Thapa, Jiteshwor, and Romario still haven’t recovered completely from the injury.

Thomas Brdaric said, “Anirudh Thapa and Jiteshwor Singh will not be taking part but Narayan Das has made a comeback to the squad.”

Any change in approach going forward to the second half of the season

Chennaiyin FC have lost five out of the eight matches played so far and are positioned seventh in the points table. When asked if there will be a change in plan of action ,the mentor quipped, ”The most important thing is to learn and I see too many comparisons with the teams on the top of the table. It is important to keep the level high for all 90 minutes rather than 45 or 60 minutes. We need to be physically and mentally strong for all 90 minutes and then execute the plan.”

Thoughts on Indian Footballers

Thomas Brdaric iterated, “To play at a higher level you need to invest more. The Indian national team has qualified for the Asian Cup recently and have to see how they perform there. The Indian forwards have been on par with the foreign players and our team too, has a few Indians who need to practice more and prove themselves. The foreign players who come here to play need to motivate the Indian players to achieve more and we as coaches will also be doing our part in their development.”

Edwin’s thoughts on NorthEast United

Edwin said, “They will be playing in front of their home fans and will be highly motivated along with the appointment of a new coach. Our philosophy will remain the same – taking one game at a time and play for the club and fans back home.”

How ISL helped him grow as a footballer

Edwin Sydney Vanspaul joined the Marina Machans after a successful stint in the I-League with Chennai City FC and since then has been representing Chennaiyin for four successive seasons.

Edwin iterated, “I started playing in ISL in season 6. When I first joined, five foreigners were allowed and the Indians would only provide assists. But now, things have totally changed and the coaches’ perception too, has changed with time. ISL has definitely helped many Indians improve their game by taking valuable inputs from foreign coaches.”

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