We must use the clutch moments to our advantage: Chennaiyin FC head coach Brdaric

Chennaiyin FC coach Thomas Brdaric wants his side to come out on top in clutch moments and make a difference as they face East Bengal in the Hero Indian Super League (ISL) at the Vivekananda Yuba Bharati Krirangan, in Kolkata, on Friday.

East Bengal and Chennayin FC have shared the spoils in their previous four meetings against each other. Sixth-placed Chennaiyin FC have registered four points from their three games so far this season, and are point above East Bengal, who are placed ninth in the standings. However, Chennaiyin FC have a game in hand and the visitors will be aiming for maximum points to climb further up the table. 

Brdaric spoke about the importance of having a big squad, his experience in playing Kolkata, and more in the pre-match press conference. 

Here are the excerpts:

You started the season very well against ATK Mohun Bagan, but what went wrong after that?

Football is very simple. If we can't score, we can't win. In the last matches, we created several chances but conceded goals. We analysed those and want to improve next time.

How do you rate East Bengal FC?

East Bengal FC have an interesting staff. Playing against each club in the Hero ISL is a new challenge. They have their strength, but we will try to switch off them and push our game and show our strength. We can have a good match on Friday and hope we can execute our plan.

Whether having many Bengali players in your squad will help you to play better in Kolkata?

I told the players in the morning how it feels to play in front of the East Bengal fans. They are crazy and they wanted to support the team and players to their maximum but they will also put some pressure on players. We will try to exploit those, especially in those clutch moments and take it to our advantage. This will create some difference in the match. 

You spoke about foolish mistakes done by your side but East Bengal also did some foolish mistakes. How you are planning to capitalise on those mistakes?

This is our work. We had time to recover from the last match day and train hard and can bounce back professionally. The team looks good and performing well in the training session. If we are not able to implement the tactics we prepared in the training, then we won't get desired results. We should carry on implementing it. It will be a tough match and so we are well prepared for the match against East Bengal.

What is the speciality of this East Bengal FC team?

We analyse the games of opponents. Almost all teams are equal in strength and small details are deciding the results of the games. It's a special match against East Bengal FC and an extraordinary feeling to play here in this big stadium in front of the fans. They have their strengths and we spoke about them. We have to prevent them from going into our deep zone with their fast players. We have to deny those one-on-one situations in the next match. They are a physically strong team with good experienced players. But we want to play with our tactics.

Prasanth K was very lively even in the loss against FC Goa. What did you make of his performance?

I am watching the team performance first and then the players. He was poor against ATK Mohun Bagan, but he improved pretty well against Bengaluru FC in the first half. He needs time and a good amount of preparation to play hard matches in Hero ISL. He is one part of our team.

Any injury concern for Friday's match?

Unfortunately, Karikari is not available. Our staff are trying their best for his comeback. We wish him a fast recovery. (Anirudh) Thapa is back, he was absent for a week due to a small muscle injury. But other players can go and do their best against east Bengal. Nasser El Khayati is a pretty good player, but had less preparation with us and had some strains, but he bounced back and joined the team. He is motivated and wants to play and he may get some minutes in the Friday match.

(Mohammed) Rafique also had less preparation time with us. He is an experienced guy. I like his attitude and he is improving very fast to get playing minutes. We have a big squad and everybody will get their opportunity in time. They have to work hard and deserved to be a part of the matchday squad and playing 11. We have one more session left, so we will decide who is going to play against East Bengal FC.

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