Hyderabad FC will be a challenge for us to see where we stand: Chennaiyin FC's Brdaric
Chennaiyin FC head coach Thomas Brdaric wants his players to put their best foot forward as his side squares off against Hyderabad FC in Matchweek 15 of the Hero Indian Super League (ISL) 2022-23 at the G.MC Balayogi Athletic Stadium, in Hyderabad, on Thursday.
With a comeback draw over Jamshedpur FC in their previous game, the Marina Machans face an uphill task in their upcoming game against Hyderabad FC, and Brdaric feels his side is geared up to topple their opponents.
"We bounced back in a pretty good way. Now we check off the last match. We are already in preparation for the next match here in Hyderabad. A bit of a tough match. I think we will be prepared for them. We played against them twice so far and I'm looking forward to this match. We want to face them and to hurt them in a way with our abilities and try to catch points," Brdaric said in the pre-match press conference.
Chennaiyin FC sit seventh in the league standings, having collected 15 points from 12 matches. With East Bengal FC and FC Goa dropping points in the previous gameweek, the side has been given a boost in their run for the playoffs alongside having a game in hand.
"We are following all the games. Hero ISL is an interesting league. All 11 teams can beat everybody. So we have to analyze all the teams very well in a professional way, and to give the players the maximum confidence to go in that game but now we are focused on the next match," he added.
Hyderabad FC have been a dominant side in the league, having won 10 of their 13 games so far. Brdaric appreciated the way Manolo Marquez has set up his side and believes the faceoff on Thursday would be a prime example to see the difference between the two teams.
"To play against Hyderabad FC is a good challenge for us and to see where we are (at the moment). Hyderabad FC is a very experienced team, with a very good coach. They are already two to three steps ahead of Chennaiyin FC because they are already in the third year (with the core team) and you can see the signature (philosophy) of the coach and the coaching staff," he said
In the last half year, we worked very hard to be competitive with those teams. We want to compete with them. On Thursday, we will see how far we are. I know that our players will give (their) maximum and then we will see which results we can catch", he concluded.
Goalkeeper Samik Mitra, who has been starting ahead of Debjit Majumder recently, also accompanied head coach Thomas Brdaric in the pre-match press conference.
Having spent three years in the reserve team, Mitra got the senior team call ahead of the Hero ISL 2020-21 season. After two years of patient waiting in the senior team, the West Bengal player is getting regular gametime under Thomas Brdaric.
"It feels really nice to be in the team and playing. The coach gave me confidence and everyone in the management gave me confidence along with my players. Obviously, it is a great experience to play under the coach. As a part of Chennaiyin FC, I'm always proud to play for the club, as I have been here for a long time," he said in the pre-match press conference.
Mitra has made eight saves in the last two matches, including crucial saves against Rafael Crivellaro in the last match that helped his side clinch a point.
"It is my job to make the saves and that's what I do for the team. I make those saves, so I would like to continue it in the same way. I try to bring out whatever qualities I have. Whatever I do in the training, I try to bring it out in the match," he concluded.