The Chennaiyin FC boss also shed light on how the think-tank improves the players.

Chennaiyin FC are set to take on FC Goa on 16th February at the Fatorda stadium in Goa. This will be the away side’s penultimate match in ISL 2022-23 after having failed to qualify for the playoffs. Thomas Brdaric’ side ended their eight-match unbeaten streak by defeating East Bengal in their previous game and will be high on confidence against FC Goa, who are fighting for a place in the top-six.

The pre-match press conference was attended by head coach Thomas Brdaric. Edited excerpts are as follows.

Thoughts on FC Goa

FC Goa are one of the few teams fighting hard to get into the playoffs. The home team is currently slated in the sixth spot with 27 points and will be under pressure during the last few league games.

“The three points from the last match will give us the motivation and the spirit to push through the tough match in Goa. Also, they are a bit under pressure, and we should use it to our advantage. It’s a good opportunity to annoy the opponents and to give them the maximum stress when they actually don’t like it. I want to give my players the maximum support and they must deliver on the field,” the coach asserted.

Any chances of new players getting more game-time

Players like Mohammed Rafique and Sajal Bag have not featured regularly in the matchday squad. Youngster Bikash Yumnam however, featured in the matchday squad against East Bengal, but couldn’t get any minutes to his name.

Thomas Brdaric opined, “My aim is to make players professional. Everybody is able to showcase their skills in the training session and also need to make my job harder in selecting them to play matches. Vincy Barretto improved steadily in the season and has shown good improvements in his game. The players have to fight hard for their places and show commitment.”

Is there specific training given to emerging players?

Vincy Barretto had an excellent game against East Bengal and could have easily netted two goals. Unfortunately, the youngster lacked composure in the final third and failed to score a goal. 

The head coach iterated, “As I said earlier, we want to build a new CFC and are in the process. Players definitely want to improve their game and are putting in an effort. We have done a lot of mistakes and have also learnt from those mistakes. We communicate with players separately and help them understand how to get better. We won the last match against East Bengal but it doesn’t mean everything was good. In a similar way, when we lose, it doesn’t mean everything is bad. We have to take the positives from every match and move on.”

Injury Updates

“Petar Sliskovic, Nasser El Khayati, and Prasanth are injured and need treatment,” said Thomas Brdaric.

Importance of fitness levels among the foreign players

Chennaiyin FC, throughout the season, did not have the luxury of possessing six fully fit foreign players into the matchday squad. The coach had to tinker around with the combination and did not have a settled line-up due to injuries. He answered some queries regarding how he’ll sign foreigners (in terms of their fitness levels) for the upcoming season.

The German said, “In my point of view, the foreign players must first understand that only four of them will be allowed to play and if they don’t understand this, then they are wrong. He must acknowledge at times of not playing and staying on the bench and need to wait for the moment. Foreign players in the past have proved themselves and I need a balance of the team while playing.”

He added, “Let’s wait till August for the new season, but in the end, it doesn’t matter whether it is an Indian or a foreign player. Whichever player shows differences in the training session and in the matches will continue in our way.”

For more updates, follow Khel Now on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Youtube and join our community on Telegram.