If we want to take the next step, we have to score and win: Chennaiyin FC's Thomas Brdaric

Chennaiyin FC head coach Thomas Brdaric stated his team needs to convert their chances and win, in order to take their game to next level after the Marina Machans shared the spoils with ATK Mohun Bagan in the second goalless draw of the Hero Indian Super League (ISL) 2022-23 season at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium, Chennai, on Saturday.

Both teams came close to breaking the deadlock but inspired performances from the custodians of both teams kept the game goalless. This was the third straight draw for Brdaric's men as Chennaiyin FC missed out on the opportunity to close the gap on sixth-placed FC Goa in the Hero ISL points table. ATK Mohun Bagan continue to stay in the fourth position after Juan Ferrando's men failed to grab the opportunity to reach the third position in the points table.

Chennaiyin FC came out winners 2-1 in the reverse fixture with the help of goals from Kwame Karikari and Rahim Ali. The Chennaiyin FC head coach believes that it was an equal game where both teams had chances to score.

"If you had told me at the beginning of the season that we'll take four points from ATK Mohun Bagan, I would've agreed directly. We have to win against other teams, ATK Mohun Bagan is a strong team and also the match was balanced today. They could've scored and we could've scored as well and you saw two strong teams today. I'm proud that we can compete with those teams and I hope that we still believe in ourselves. There are six matches left, we'll get opportunities to win matches against the teams where we have to win and then the situation will be better," Brdaric said in the official post-match press conference.

The Marina Machans have earned four points in the last five matches with four draws and one loss. Bradric expressed that if the team wants to take the next step, they have to score and win in such games.

"A draw is not bad but we can improve in some spells. We can have better composure, there were too many loose balls and we invited ATK Mohun Bagan to create opportunities. When we gave the ball away then only ATK Mohun Bagan were able to create danger otherwise they were not able to create something special so that's why I'm satisfied with the defending. In attack, we had a bit of bad luck. In the first half, we could've scored and in the second half, the goalkeeper performed well. It was really a strong match but if we want to take the next step, we have to score and win," he said.

As the race for the playoffs heats up with just six points between third-ranked Kerala Blasters FC and seventh-placed Bengaluru FC, teams are gearing up for the final push for glory. Chennaiyin FC head coach reiterated that anything can happen in the last six matches.

"We have a good match plan and we have to understand that we don't get punished due to foolish things. The last few matches were very close, we were disappointed in Jamshedpur that we couldn't win there but in all the other games we had good performances and we can build up on that. And that's why I'm not concerned about the situation, of course, we want to be in a much better position but anything can happen in the last six matches," Brdaric added.

Chennaiyin FC faces Bengaluru FC in the next league fixture. The Blues are currently two points ahead of Brdaric's men and are placed in the seventh position. Brdaric shed light on how this is the first seeason of rebuild and the progress of young Indian players in his team.

"For me, it's very important that the picture looks good and don't forget we are building. In the first year as CFC head coach it is a new situation in the Hero ISL. We have pretty good players with a lot of dedication, humility and potential. We have foreigners and don't forget, foreign players should make a difference. We lifted up the level of Indian players, like Aakash (Sangwan), Ajith (Kumar), and Jiteshwor (Singh),” Brdaric concluded.

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