Chennaiyin FC head coach Thomas Brdaric wants to build a team with a fresh identity as he seeks to restore the club among the top contenders after a disappointing Hero Indian Super League (ISL) 2021-22 season.

The German head coach has arrived in Chennaiyin FC and the team have begun pre-season training early to ensure the players are well-versed with his methods before the season kicks off.

The Marina Machans have acted early in the transfer market and secured a number of domestic and overseas signings. Brdaric is happy with the group and feels the squad has the potential to achieve its objectives.

“I am pretty happy to have some genuine scorers in the squad. The boys are serious and eager to deliver their best shot this time,” Brdaric told The Times of India in an interview.

“We have started our preparation early this season and boys are looking forward to having a great time on the pitch this time and creating an identity for Chennayin FC,” he added.

The 47-year-old feels the team would need time to function well as a unit but he has already seen signs in pre-season that the players can gel quickly.

“The Indian players are eager; they like to work. I am giving them the support they need. The most important thing for me is to take them to the next level. The foreigners are here to make a difference; that is why we bring them to the club. We have to strike a balance while working together,” Brdaric told DT Next in another interview.

Chennaiyin FC are looking at fielding a strong team at the upcoming Durand Cup as they prepare for Hero ISL 2022-23 season. But as much as results, Brdaric wants to slowly mould his team as per his philosophy.

“First of all, we need to have clear settings. A good strategy has to be in place. We are creating a good team that the players and the fans can identify with. We need time; that is why we started the pre-season early,” Brdaric told DT Next.

“We want our players to maintain good fitness and gain confidence. The players understand that we need to create an identity for the club. We need to have good guidelines for the season. The coaching staff have to build the team step by step. I like the way we are working together,” he added.

Chennaiyin FC have historically been a strong team in the Hero ISL having reached the final thrice and won the title two times. The club would want to improve on their eighth-place finish in 2021-22.

In Brdaric, the club have taken a new direction with the coach a firm believer of the German football ethos. Chennaiyin FC fans can look forward to an intense style of play that many top German coaches have been known for.

“It’s possible but you need to have a full set of players who are supremely fit and have the ability to withstand such a high-intensity game throughout the match,” Brdaric told The Times of India.

“It’s not easy but if you work hard and are provided with adequate resources like young, talented and fit players, infrastructure and good investment by the club, it’s very much possible to implement a similar style of play in Indian football in the near future,” he added.