El Khayati is an option for the starting XI against Hyderabad FC: Chennaiyin FC's Thomas Brdaric
Chennaiyin FC head coach Thomas Brdaric urged his players to learn from the past mistakes and not to repeat them again as Chennaiyin FC host the current champions Hyderabad FC at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium, in Chennai, in the Hero Indian super League (ISL) 2022-23.
Chennaiyin FC have conceded 14 goals so far despite starting with two foreign center backs in all their matches. Brdaric said that the best way to prevent this is not to make simple mistakes and hinted at a change in the back four.
Bradric was accompanied by Prasanth Karuthadathkuni in the pre-match press conference, who started in all the seven matches so far. The coach also spoke about the injury updates on Anirudh Thapa, inconsistency of the team, the quality of their opponents.
Here are the excerpts from Brdaric' press conference:
Abdenasser El Khayati has been in excellent form in the last few matches. So how do you make space for a player like him in the starting eleven, because he's been consistently coming off the bench in the recent games?
Brdaric: We are working all the time to bring our best players on the field so that they will be able to win matches. It is our aim and Saturday is an opportunity. Yes, Abdenasser El Khayati is ready and he's an option for Saturday. We are working from the first day, to bring our players fit, to bring them in shape, to find options to be stable against the ball in one situation but also we need creativity on the field. I guess he (El Khayati) can give us this.
Your thoughts on Hyderabad FC, obviously they are reigning champions. But they are coming into the game, after a couple of losses, even otherwise they still had a good team, but I wanted to ask what analysis of the team?
Brdaric: They are the reigning champions, experienced team, and experienced coach and good human. He brought the success to Hyderabad FC. Yes, they are struggling. We recognise this. We noticed that. But we never underestimate our opponents. Even they are in a good situation to bounce back, with the quality. But, how can we exploit the situation? This is very important and how we want to play against them. We know everything about Hyderabad FC and I appreciate them so we have a plan for Saturday and we want to execute in the best way with motivated players.
How much concerned are you with the defence? In the last match where the team conceded in the last minute and conceded in the starting stage as well in other games?
Brdaric: The best way is to deny simple mistakes. Players must understand that everybody on the field has a responsibility to understand in which situation, how we can play which balls and which balls we can't play. But on the other hand, everybody is involved in our game so it's a pity that we have had in the last games a chain of mistakes which can't happen like that. So (we have to) concentrate to keep the ball better and to understand how we have to defend after loosing the balls, to go up and to try to deny the offensive game of the opponent or to close the rows between the lines and to secure our back row better and to go faster in the negative transition.
It is what we worked on, and this is a process and players must understand to improve and we have time for improvements because during the week and as I said already to the players, if we have a proper week, then mostly we are in a good shape but if the (matches are) close then, we have to be much more concentrated like the last time because against Odisha FC, we was able to beat them or even to take a point till the last minute, but we missed out on some things that we can't show agaisnt Hyderabad FC.
Any injury update on Anirudh Thapa?
Brdaric: (Anirudh) Thapa and Jiteshwor (Singh) have been our core in the first few matches. In the center, they did well, they did a really pretty good job and of course we miss them but as a coach, you have to work on both sides. Of course, bringing the injured players back. This is the first thing we work on and try to make a good recovery and good treatments for those players. And on the other side we are opening the opportunities for other players to deliver and to show and to prove themselves that they are important players so they should use their chances to play. It is very simple.
In the past, we gave some players this option. I know how much we invest for them. We give them trust. We believe in these players, we give them time. But honestly, when we lose points like against the Odisha FC that hurts because I was very, very frustrated after the last match because we didn't learn from our mistakes from the past. So that's why the players have to memorize our doings, to prevent foolish things and to understand which strengths I have, which abilities I have and how I can bring myself in a good position and it is this good mindset that we are working on all week. We push our players. We can fall but we have to stand up and bring up the motivation for the next match.
After the defeat against Odisha FC, you posted on Instagram saying, "No defeat can kill us because we learn from each one of them". So is that the message you passed on to the players as well?
Brdaric: Yes. It is the process, it is a transition year. We don't want to repeat like last year that we were kind of nowhere (in the last season) and that's why we are here. We have a struggle, but we have to learn and we have to work on our issues to resolve and to research. We can work on training sessions to be strong and in the games and I told the guys that I am not here to waste my time. It's very simple, the owners, the management, they invest money and everything to give us the support that we are able to be a strong CFC team in the Hero ISL and it's worthy to invest in us and to believe in us. So I have to push the players. It's a kind of process.
Sometimes the referee's decisions are not easy to understand. So this kind of process that the federation must learn and referees must learn and we must learn very fast so that we are able to go ahead together.
What is the fitness update on Narayan Das and Romario Jesuraj? Romario has not played a single match so far this season.
Brdaric: All players are involved in training sessions. They are a little bit (behind) in a kind of shape, fitness and we have to improve. Romario Jesuraj needs more time. Narayan Das, he is already advanced. I'm happy for this because we need him as a player, as a human, he is an experienced guy, really tremendous for this team, important to have him in the team. So I hope next week he will bounce back in training sessions and then we will. How far he is in to play in the next matches.
Hyderabad FC coach Manulo Marquez told in the press conference that Chennaiyin FC is an unpredictable team, when you expect them to win easily, they concede goals and also the opposite is true. So why is there an inconsistency even within 90 minutes?
Brdaric: We are working on that to understand why we are so unpredictable on both sides and we have to understand how football works and to take players and to work with them and to show them the way. The road till the end is long but it is not that long to say we have time till the end to develop and to see what happens. We have to understand and take out the maximum opportunities what we have.
So Saturday is one option, we have opponents (on Saturday), they want to go for the championship, we know about the importance of the match. So to be serious and to understand that we are on the pitch, we have the processes and be a professional and have a good strong mindset all the time, to understand if something is going wrong, to understand which inputs and which impact we can give and the players understand what they can improve. So that's why our coaching staff is very close to the players. We have good communication with each other. The atmosphere is generally very good but must be much better. When we get better results, then we develop in the right way. Now we have evenly balanced stats and we can be satisfied with that.
Here are the excerpts from Prasanth Karuthadathkuni's conference:
Hyderabad FC is the fourth lowest team in terms of scoring goals so what are your plans to exploit that?
Prasanth: It means they are defending good, so we have our own plan to break (their defense). We attackers will do some good moves and score more goals.
You are getting a regular name under Thomas Bradric and you are adapted very well to coach tactics, so what is your personal target or goal for you in this season?
Prasanth: In the last season, I didn't get much playing time. So this year I am getting time and I am happy with him (coach) and with the team, with the club, with the owners and everyone and I'm so comfortable here also and the personal goal is that I want to go to the national team, I don't want to prove (anything) to anyone. I just want to improve myself day by day, so that's it.
The last game would have been difficult because you lost it very late after scoring the equaliser. So in the dressing room between yourself and the rest of your teammates, what conversations did you have?
Prasanth: We were upset. We were 0-2 down and we scored two and later we conceded another but we didn't blame anyone. Later we came here and we analysed what mistakes we made. It just happens and the past is the past. Last week we worked really hard for Saturday's match against Hyderabad FC. We learn something from that (previous) match. We encouraged each other.