Saturday , January 28 2023

Chennaiyin FC’s big target is to make it to the ISL playoffs!

Chennaiyin FC will be aiming to make a strong comeback in the Indian Super League after the Christmas and New Year’s break. The last time Chennaiyin FC played a match in the league was almost a fortnight ago on December 24 against Mumbai City FC which they lost by a narrow 1-2 margin.

Head coach Thomas Brdaric’s boys will be looking to make amends when they face Jamshedpur FC in an away match at the JRD Tata Sports Complex on Saturday, January 7.

Chennaiyin FC currently occupy the seventh place in the points table with 14 points from 11 matches and the Marina Machans are confident that they can seal a berth in the playoffs of the tournament with an improved performance in the upcoming matches.

“It was a very close last match against Mumbai City. Our aim is to be in the final and our big target is to be in the playoffs and we don’t want to lose focus on that,” said coach Brdaric in a pre-match press conference.

“We started from zero and we have developed a great team. We have a great atmosphere in the team and we are doing our best to get the results,” he added.

So far, Chennaiyin FC have conceded 23 goals, the second-highest in the competition.

Brdaric said his team will have to defend better. “The stats show a lot of goals and we have to improve in defending because we have conceded too many goals. We have defended sometimes in a foolish way and we have to defend better,” said the coach.

However, Chennaiyin FC will miss the prolific Abdenasser El Khayati as the Dutch midfielder continues sitting out with an injury. Khayati has scored seven goals in seven matches so far for the Marina Machans.

“Nasser is still out as he needs time to recover and Debjit (Majumdar, the goalkeeper) is not in the squad as he is out with a groin injury,” said Brdaric.

In the absence of Khayati, the onus will be on the attacking trio of Vincy Barretto, Peter Sliskovic and Prasanth K to score the goals. The 31-year-old Sliskovic has scored six times in 11 matches while Barretto has netted twice in seven appearances.

Chennaiyin FC will also have a familiar foe in Rafael Crivellaro when they face Jamshedpur FC. Crivellaro was a dependable soldier for Chennaiyin FC for three years from 2019 before moving to Jamshedpur FC earlier last month.

When asked on how the team would play with Rafa on the opposite side, Barretto said that Chennaiyin FC wouldn’t play any different while facing him as an opponent.

“We wouldn’t feel any different playing against him. Our focus is to give our best for Chennaiyin FC and that is what we will do. And I am looking forward to playing with a renewed focus,” said Barretto.

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