As Chennaiyin FC gear up to take on Kerala Blasters FC in an exciting Southern Derby of the Indian Super League 2023-24 on Wednesday, head coach Owen Coyle expressed confidence in his side’s ability to win the game, citing their promising display in previous matches.
Chennaiyin have recorded two wins and one draw in their last four matches in the league, which also includes an impressive away victory against Hyderabad FC. A game against Kerala Blasters at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in Kochi will be their fourth away game this season.
“It’s a derby game. So we know it’s difficult. They’re flying it at the top and all credit to them. But they also know how well we played on Saturday [against East Bengal FC]—the chances we created. So that’s what I have to continue to do. We’re excited about the match.
“We can create chances. We’ve got players who can unlock defences. We need to be more solidified in terms of giving up. And as I say, if we’re at our best, then we’re more than capable of winning the game. But we’re going to have to be very good, that’s for sure,” Coyle commented while addressing the media at the pre-match press conference on Monday in Chennai.
The 57-year-old tactician is fully aware of the intense challenge that awaits his side but urged them to give their all in order to tilt the result in their favour.
“I know how the feeling everybody has, obviously the support that Kerala is going to have, they’ll fill the stadium. They’ll be colourful, they’ll be vocal. But for me, that’s the arenas that I love playing.
“For us to make the playoffs at the end of the season, we need to pick up points with the performance. These young boys are improving, so that’s always the challenge of getting the balance,” Coyle said.
Striker Vincy Barretto said he’s looking forward to scoring against his former club. “It feels good [to play in front of the Kerala Blasters fans], I know I have already played with them. We have to give our best and take three points,” the 23-year-old Goa-born player said.
The head coach further informed about the availability of Rahim Ali and Jordan Murray. “Rahim certainly comes back into the squad. Jordan is much better. We just have to make sure that he feels good with himself,” Coyle concluded.
Chennaiyin and Kerala Blasters share a close head-to-head record in 20 matches played between them in ISL as they have won six games each.
The match will begin at 8pm IST as the fans can watch the action live on Viacom18 and JioCinema.