Chennai: Head coach Thomas Brdaric is optimistic that Chennaiyin FC’s commanding win over East Bengal in the previous fixture will provide them with the necessary inspiration and momentum his side gears up to lock horns with FC Goa in their penultimate league game of the Hero Indian Super League (ISL) 2022-23 on Thursday.
The Marina Machans put up a scintillating display to cruise past East Bengal 2-0 in front of their home fans and complete a league double over them this season.
“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 for 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,” Brdaric told the media during the pre-match press conference on Tuesday.
Vincy Barretto, who began his professional career in Goa, also accompanied the head coach for the press conference. The young winger has become a regular starter under the German coach and has found the back of the net three times this season.
“I know it’s my hometown team but I play for Chennaiyin and I always try to give my best for my team. I have to improve a lot to play every time in the Chennaiyin team in the future, so I’m trying to do my best. The coach is always helping me improve a lot,” said Barretto when asked about the significance of playing in his home state and his goals at the club.
Chennaiyin were dealt a blow in their previous game after prolific midfielder Abdenasser El Khayati was substituted after picking up an injury. The team will be without the Dutch star as well as their winger Prasanth Karuthadathkuni and star striker Petar Sliskovic who are also sidelined due to injuries for their upcoming clash against FC Goa.
Providing an update on the trio and how the squad will adapt without them, Brdaric said “My thinking is on all players and how we can try to exploit our opportunities with the players that are fit to play for the next match. When we are strong in our mindset, we can be very competitive with all teams. I want to play offensive football, this is my aim. We need players like Vincy who are able to play on a higher level in pressing and that is what we want to show – high pressing, give the opponent stress, don’t let them in the game, and use opportunities.”
FC Goa are winless in their previous two matches and are coming into this clash having suffered a 3-5 defeat at home against Mumbai City FC.
With the Gaurs defeating Chennaiyin 2-0 in their encounter earlier in the season, the Marina Machans will be determined to improve their head-to-head record by securing full three points.
Matches: 22, CFC: 8, FCG: 12 Draw: 2