Chennaiyin FC head coach Owen Coyle revealed that he has a lot of regard for his opponent, Kerala Blasters FC, as the two teams prepare to meet at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in Chennai on Friday.

The Marina Machans are currently placed in the 11th spot in the points table with 12 points in 13 matches. Coyle’s men have not only failed to secure a point but also failed to net a goal in their last three matches.

Despite losing their last match against Bengaluru FC by a narrow margin, Coyle emphasised the need to secure more points in their upcoming home matches. The head coach opined that his team had their best performance when they played at home during October and November, where they secured four points in four matches.

"When anybody loses a game, it’s a setback, but when you look a bit deeper, we have played more away games than anybody in the league. At the moment, we stand to play six home games in eight weeks. If you look at our form, we had our best spell when we had home games in October and November," he said in the pre-match press conference.

Coyle also discusses their chances to reach the playoffs if they can manage to earn more points using their home advantage. Speaking in context, he stated, “For our fans, we want to make a real push into that top six. To do that, we have to perform well at home and certainly have to accept that we need to be better defensively.”

The Blasters have an impressive record against Chennaiyin FC, against whom they have been unbeaten in their last seven outings. In the earlier fixture this season, the Marina Machans played out a 3-3 draw in Kochi. And the Scottishman is expecting another goalscoring thriller when they host Ivan Vukomanovic’s side in the reverse fixture.

"I expect two very attack-minded teams going to win the game,” Coyle commented.

“We need to win for our aim of achieving the top six, and Kerala Blasters FC need to win to be back among the very top. I think this will make a fantastic game, as most of the ISL games do. But when you get a punch in the nose, losing at Bengaluru, you have to look to bounce back quickly," he added.

The 57-year-old had words of praise for the Serbian, under whom Kerala Blasters FC won eight out of 14 games this season. Despite the Blasters suffering two consecutive defeats and losing several key players in the form of Adrian Luna and Kwamie Peprah, Coyle is well aware of their squad depth, as he urged his players to stay focused on themselves to do well in the forthcoming fixture.

"I think Kerala Blasters FC have done very well with an outstanding coach. They’ve been terrific, and part of that is because they’ve had continuity. In fairness to Kerala, their level of work this year has been outstanding despite losing one or two players. Ivan Vukomanovic has done a remarkable job,” he said.

“Of course, they might be in a bit of an indifferent form, but we know they have very good players. But equally, so do we. What we have to do is make sure that we are at our best because we've shown that when we're at our best, particularly at home, we're capable of winning games. So that's what we have to do. I've nothing but the utmost respect for Kerala Blasters FC and the coach (Vukomanovic),” he signed off.

Want to get back to winning ways: Ayush Adhikari


Ayush Adhikari accompanied his head coach ahead of their next match against Kerala Blasters FC and stressed on the need to cut down on silly errors.

"It’s good to be back home, but of course, it’s not a good feeling when you don’t get a win. As a team, we always go to the field with a winning mentality,” he stated.

“And to be fair, if you look at the matches, we created our chances as well. It’s been small details that have made a difference. We are working on that to close those small errors and get back to winning ways,” he concluded.