Chennaiyin FC’s new head coach Thomas Brdaric has hit the ground running at the Marina Arena in Chennai without further ado. Hailing from Germany, Brdaric has already made some big signings and further intends to strengthen his squad ahead of the upcoming Hero Indian Super League (ISL) season.

Having added the likes of Petar Sliskovic, Kwame Karikari, Julius Duker, and Fallou Diagne in the foreign players department alongside Monotosh Chakladar and Sourav Das amongst others in the Indian players section, the German coach is cementing his squad with quality players and wants them to blend with his unique footballing philosophy.

With the 47-year-old intent on taking the Marina Machans back where it belongs, Brdaric made his goals perfectly clear for the upcoming longer season, his approach to the Hero ISL, and a lot more in a discussion with Hero ISL experts Shaiju Damodaran, Pulasta Dhar, and Kaushik Varun on the Lets Football Live Show

Listen to the full Let's Football Live Show below:

On the training sessions at Chennaiyin FC 

Thomas Brdaric: We have to be a bit patient as we are starting from [ground] zero, so we have to try to learn from each other as much as possible. We should give the team and the players a little bit of time to adapt to the training sessions. All of the stuff works well and everybody wants to be involved in this team. This is what I have recognised in the first days.

On whether Chennaiyin FC will be playing an attacking and aggressive style of football

Thomas Brdaric: Every single coach has his own style. Of course, it makes me proud that they compare my style to the big German coaches, but I am still in the process and working to reach the level of Tuchel [Thomas] and Guardiola [Pep]. The team wants to play a similar kind of football, so that makes me proud.

On adapting to the Hero Indian Super League (ISL)

Thomas Brdaric: Personally, to work under such conditions is different. The style of the players who have developed under the previous coach is different, and I need to take an overview about everything and then to infuse my style as to how I want to play. It is incredibly hard to practise every time and to build a successful team. The motivation and objective is to play out a successful season, and for that, we have to invest a lot. We have to accept what it is, to build up on that, and this adaptation needs time. Once that time is over, every day becomes a new motivation, to work with the players and to create a team that the fans are able to identify with them.

On joining Chennaiyin FC and Hero ISL

Thomas Brdaric: It was my dream to come to Asia and to expand my knowledge and experience, the passion to overtake a club with the same mentality and objectives. The motivation for me was to settle in a club with these objectives and targets which align mine as well. I had a well-versed conversation with the board and that gave me the motivation. I also had to convince the board that I am the right person and now I am here.

On getting acquainted with the players

My sense of approach is to build the Indian players and to bring foreign players to accompany them, accomplish the goals together and bring them on another level. It’s kind of a challenge for myself to bring Indian players on another level. There are bunches of developmental players in our team, they are very eager, hard working. They should also understand that without a good physical level, they can’t play good football. I want to give them a lot of confidence that they’re able to work on what I ask them of because all players like to play. Young players do have expectations of them and to deal with the players, they need support to evolve, which is what I undertake in my process, and I hope it succeeds here as well.    

On approaching each competition in the longer football season

Thomas Brdaric: If we are on the pitch, we want to win all the matches, and that is the first principle I implemented in the team, the winning mentality. In addition, it doesn’t matter if it’s a friendly match or a big match, the target of each game is to win it and you must be prepared for it because everybody wants to win but the way we approach it is very important. The Durand Cup is coming soon and we’ll figure out where we stand. The friendlies before that will help us to play our style and show us how prepared we are for the Championship. If the team accepts and understands how we want to play then we are already a step ahead.