Want to continue Chennaiyin FC's unbeaten home run against KBFC: Thomas Brdaric

Chennaiyin FC head coach Thomas Brdaric expects a wonderful atmosphere in the stands as Chennaiyin FC host its arch rival Kerala Blasters FC at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in Chennai in Hero Indian Super League (ISL) on Monday.

This rivalry between the two clubs is significant as Ivan Vukomanović's side are looking to break another unpleasant record of not winning a game at the Marina Arena. Whereas home team would want to continue their unbeaten streak in Chennai against their rivals from Kochi.

Brdaric addressed the media in the pre-match press conference along with Edwin Sydney Vanspaul, the only local lad in the current squad who played in this fixture before. The head coach also gave updates on the playing 11 and the importance of Nasser El khayati.

Here are the excerpts from Brdaric' conference:

How important was that big win against NorthEast United FC before going into this game?

Brdaric: I already checked off the last match. We are in process for the upcoming games. Of course, this match (against NorthEast United FC) gave us a lot of confidence and trust and also some conclusions. What we did and what we are doing in the future and how we can improve. It was a key game and we capitalise it really in a pretty good way but our minds are already on the next.

Kerala Blasters FC are on a five match winning streak and also they are very good defensive sides so what do you think are the areas that we can target?

Brdaric: We respect their results. We know how to deal with that and to understand that no team is to be underestimated even if they have good results. We have to be wary of the guards and to understand how we have to play against the ball, to have a good pressing, everybody should work against the ball in a common sense and not give the opponent spaces and allow them to unfold their game. Our aim is to give them stress and force mistakes and then we have to exploit it. This is one approach.

On the other hand, we don't choose to forget our game. We also have our strengths. We worked this week, especially on how we want to catch them, how we want to play in an opening because they are a good pressing team and to deal with that, we should know how. The team is in good shape, with a very pretty good atmosphere. I like it, but we have to extend this preparation and go into competition mode on Monday.

Many fans prefer to win against Kerala Blasters FC than any other match and Kerala Blasters FC have not won a single game in Chennai, will it be an added pressure?

Brdaric: The good target is to continue this streak and (now) it is a different circumstance. We are aware of that. Fans as well on the fire, the spark should jump all the time. Till now, the fans can identify with our playing style and it should be the case on Monday also.

We are halfway into the season. So how would you rate the season so far, the team hasn't been performing consistently? So what do you think are the challenges ahead?

Brdaric: We are building the new CFC, new coaches, a new coaching team, and new players. We changed almost everything. Some players are still here, like Edwin (Sydney Vanspaul). He knows how it worked in the past. He's seen how we are working in the last six months. I heard a lot of differences, but we need time. We need to be patient. Rome wasn't built in one day.

But of course, we are chasing results and this is the target to understand we are professional footballers. Yes, to develop, to build, to confess and to acknowledge. It’s time to understand and to deal with not good results but it's a part of professional football and have to deal with those spells, mostly in a good way. We will continue the tough work with hard working and to catch better results. That's normal. Now we have a balance and of course we want to extend the positive results on Monday.

Chennaiyin FC have conceded the last eight goals mainly because of not attending the second balls and rebound, so why didn't the players have the intensity to go for those balls?

Brdaric: Mindset. The brain works (based on) how you develop as a young guy. We can't change everything in professional football. We have Edwin (Sydney Vanspaul) here and we changed him completely in a short time, but we have to understand how to work in his profile and this week, we had a good topic in the workshop to explain the players about the mindset of anticipation about how you have to improve, in your mindset to be aware all the time, to be concentrated and attentive, to prevent especially these kinds of things in negative transitions  and in the offensive transition and position of the defending.

To defend, to go to this step (for second balls) will hurt sometimes, but you have to do this and I need to show them, in a really good way. How we want to teach them, to coach them. They know how to deliver, but they also have to understand they have to improve and improve all the time and this lack of concentration, we can't allow it through the whole season. We have to learn from them because we conceded too many goals. We have shown them and told them How and what they should change. So now it's up to the players to show it on the pitch.

Ivan Vukomanović has spoken highly of El khayati. Is there any play B, if he is heavily man marked?

Brdaric: We have 10 other players. They are also able to score. Yes, He (Nasser El Khayati) is in very good shape. We have almost all players on board. It's pretty good for a coach and it makes really tough to decide who will be in a squad who will play.  Everybody should appreciate being in the starting 11. Nasser (El khayati) makes a difference. He (Ivan Vukomanović) takes attention on those players. That's nothing special. We are not dependent on one player. Of course, we need those players to make the difference and I am happy that we have him in our team but we are 11 players and 11 players are able to defend and score goals.

Here are the excerpts from Vanspaul's conference:

You and (Anirudh) Thapa were the two players who played against Kerala Blasters FC at the Marina Arena in 2019. Have you spoken with the new players about the derby atmosphere?

Edwin: The new players are also aware of this rivalry. We have informed them about the derby games. They are too excited to play in these matches, these kinds of matches players really want to play and they are aware of everything that we have been in the past years. So of course. Players are motivated and we all believe in each other and we are trying to give our best in Monday's game because these are the games that we really love to play because our fans and their fans will be numbers. Surely the atmosphere will be more exciting than other matches. Players are aware of this particular match.

Fans planning to reveal the club's largest banner on Monday and arranged a pre-match corteo, any message for the fans?

Edwin: We all know about our fans, they surprise us every time. We heard about the banner things and it's up to them and we have our work to do. We will deliver the good news to them for sure.

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