Chennaiyin FC head coach Thomas Brdaric was proud of his team and wants them to get moving after they were held to a 2-2 draw at home against Odisha FC in the latest Hero Indian Super League (ISL) fixture at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium, in Chennai, on Thursday.

Diego Mauricio continued with his fine form as he opened the scoring for the visitors, but it was cancelled out seconds later by Chennaiyin FC skipper Anirudh Thapa's thumping header. The Kalinga Warriors took the lead at the start of the second half but the hosts kept their feet in the game through talisman Abdenasser El Khayati who quickly equalised with a sublime finish.

The Marina Machans extended their winless run to seven games as they sit five points adrift of the top six, with 18 points from 16 games. Despite the draw, Brdaric felt that his side showed fight on the pitch and ran out of luck.

“We are a hard working team, and it hurts a bit. We try to be humble, and I am proud that the team came back with a fight on the pitch. We also created enough chances to be able to score the third goal,” Brdaric said in the official post-match press conference.

Brdaric's men have not been able to maintain consistency through the season. The side has shipped in 31 goals so far this season, joint-second most in the league. The German feels that the team should learn to be proactive in order to be able to find the missing consistency and avoid making mistakes. 

“We are a young team with young players who need to learn quickly how to make the decisions on the field. We are addressing that with the players, it is up to them how to execute it. We suffer due to individual mistakes, and it is too late before we come out of it. The way we concede the goals is a bit too simple, it is clear there are efforts, but they are not enough to take us into the top six,” he stated.

“It was a point from tonight, but at the end of the day, we have four games left to play, and I still have hope. We do not have the time to complain and accept the decision,” he added.

Chennaiyin FC's talisman Abdenasser El Khayati returned to action for his side after being sidelined for several games due to an injury. The midfielder's return marked an important presence in the attack as the Dutch-Moroccan found himself on the scoresheet. Brdaric highlighted the importance of the 33-year-old's return. 

“We have to care about him, he is a brilliant player, and he rescued us again with a point. We cannot let anything happen to him, we need to protect him,” he commented.

“Now we have everyone on the board, and it is important to have a fit team. I am sure with these players available until the end, we will be in consideration for top six. I have seen good developments from the team, but it is not enough, and now is the time to recover and stay positive,” he concluded.