The second half changes were crucial for us: Chennaiyin FC's Thomas Brdaric
Chennaiyin FC head coach Thomas Brdaric was satisfied with his team's performance as the Marina Machans secured a 2-0 win against East Bengal FC in the latest fixture of the Hero Indian Super League (ISL) at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium, Chennai on Sunday.
The home team applied the pressure from the opening periods of the match with Fallou Diagne's effort striking the framework. Abdenasser El Khayati was taken off in the 37th minute with the attacker clutching his hamstring. A Lalchungnunga own goal gave Chennaiyin FC the lead in the 48th minute and Rahim Ali secured the three points for the Marina Machans with his goal in the 87th minute.
Chennaiyin FC ended their eight-match winless run and completed the double over Stephen Constantine's men after securing the win in the reverse fixture in November. Brdaric expressed it was an even first half and changes in the second half sealed the victory for the home team.
Two second half goals seal a win at the Marina Arena! 🙌💙#AllInForChennaiyin #HeroISL #CFCEBFC pic.twitter.com/aG1t8jLy7Q— Chennaiyin FC 🏆🏆 (@ChennaiyinFC) February 12, 2023
"Our approach today was a good one, to go with two strikers. We had good opportunities and after the change of Abdenasser (El Khayati), it changed the game a little bit and with a little bit of luck we survived a couple of times. The change in the second was crucial, we had everything in control, we created a lot of opportunities and at the end of the day if we count everything together, we deserved to win," Brdaric said in the official post-match press conference.
After their fifth victory of the season Brdaric men sit in the eighth position in the Hero ISL points table. Brdaric shed light on how a healthy dressing is crucial for the team in order to move forward and he enjoyed the win against the Red and Gold Brigade.
"In football, we need a healthy dressing room. This is something that sets us apart from other clubs that we never give up, we're always positive. I told the players, from the first day, that it was going to be a challenge. We have been creating chances but didn't take them at the right moments. We made foolish mistakes, the players have to learn very fast that we have to be organized in every second of the play during the 90 minutes. In today's match we were playing with pressure and to face them (East Bengal FC) here and to win, it's fully satisfactory and we enjoyed the win," Brdaric said.
Abdenasser El Khayati was substituted in the 37th minute of the first half with a scare of a hamstring injury. The 34-year-old has only featured in 11 matches while managing nine goals in the process. Bradric gave insights on the substitution and expected the Talisman to return before the next fixture.
"We changed him (Abdenasser El Khayati) because he felt discomfort in his hamstring. I talked to him and he told me that it's not as serious as before, we'll do the scans and see how it'll turn out and we're hoping we can get him back before the next fixture," he added.
The Marina Machans are already out of the playoffs race. They take on playoff contenders FC Goa in the next fixture and Brdaric spoke about how the team needs to recover well before they take on Carlos Pena's side and talked about how with little tweaks the home team managed the match.
"The style that we play with is proactive and to push players ahead. Sometimes in the first half it was too calm, we didn't play fast through our centre backs and it was sloppy and poor but how we dealt with the second balls was much better and I also saw improvements when we sent (Anirudh) Thapa to the centre and it's very important for us to recover for the next match against FC Goa," stated Brdaric.
He concluded: This is game management, this is the work of my coaching staff. We made the right changes at halftime with Vafa (Hakhamaneshi) and (Rahim) Ali. We changed the system of being compact and we didn't allow much. We have height with Vafa, that's something that we missed in the first half and that's why he (Vafa Hakhamaneshi) has featured in our first XI regularly, we need him for defensive set pieces but we also need Nasser (Abdenasser El Khayati). We changed our settings a little bit and I'm satisfied that it worked well.