Riding a wave of confidence after securing back-to-back wins, Chennaiyin FC will be aiming to register a third consecutive win as they take on FC Goa in the 2023-24 Indian Super League match at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in Chennai on Sunday, November 5.
Chennaiyin FC, who clinched a 1-0 away victory against Hyderabad FC and a commanding 5-1 win at home against Punjab FC, will now look to halt FC Goa’s unbeaten streak in the league.
Expressing his anticipation for the clash, head coach Owen Coyle acknowledged FC Goa as a formidable opponent and emphasized the importance of maintaining the momentum and playing well. “FC Goa are a very good side. We are very respectful of that but we know the quality of the players we have. Given our start that nobody wanted or envisaged, we have shown remarkable character, and great quality in the previous two games and we want to capitalize on that. We would like to go and win three games in a row,” he said during the pre-match press conference on Saturday.
The 57-year-old also highlighted the areas of improvement, stating, “Firstly, we can do better in terms of our movement and attacking play. Against FC Goa we are going to have to defend well as well, so it is very much a collective effort. We believe we have good individual players, but they have to work within the team frame within what is required of their roles, and responsibilities. And then when we do that, we can stand toe to toe with the best teams.”
The Marina Machans’ star attacking midfielder Rafael Crivellaro echoed the importance of the entire team’s performance, emphasizing that it’s not just about one player but the collective effort. The Brazilian who has notched two goals and two assists in five league matches this season commented, “It is important that the older players play well together and can perform because after that you can see the quality of the team. I can score and assist but maybe against Goa it can be another player and it is important to have all players perform well for the team to be better. After some games, you see the connections are better and we are improving. Now we need to prove against FC Goa who are doing very well and we need to show we have what it takes to be at the top.”
Coach Coyle shed light on the team’s strategy of maximizing the versatility of players to build a stronger and more flexible team by saying, “I have got a history of changing players and putting players in different positions. We look at the players we recognize, the qualities that they have, and playing in different positions. That is what we need to do and that is what we have tried to build in terms of having good players but also educating them and opening their minds. So it is about sending that message each time in training so that it resonates and sticks. When it sticks, they can better players and when they become better players we become a better team.”
In head-to-head records, Chennaiyin FC have won 9 out of 23 matches, whereas FC Goa have emerged victorious on 12 occasions, with 2 matches ending in a draw.
The match will begin at 8pm IST as the fans can also watch the action live on Viacom18 and stream on JioCinema.