'Surprised by sloppiness at start, but satisfied with comeback'

The German tactician praised the Chennaiyin players for coming up with a reaction after going behind early (Roy Krishna opened the scoring for BFC, but CFC’s K Prasanth equalised).
Chennaiyin FC had played out a 1-1 draw against Bengaluru FC in the Indian Super League in Chennai
Chennaiyin FC had played out a 1-1 draw against Bengaluru FC in the Indian Super League in Chennai

CHENNAI: Chennaiyin FC head coach Thomas Brdaric said that he was “surprised” by his team’s sloppiness in the early stages of the 1-1 draw against Bengaluru FC in the Indian Super League 2022-23 match at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium here on Friday. But, the German tactician praised the Chennaiyin players for coming up with a reaction after going behind early (Roy Krishna opened the scoring for BFC, but CFC’s K Prasanth equalised).

EXCERPTS FROM THE PRESS CONFERENCE

On Chennaiyin FC’s performance against Bengaluru FC

Generally, when you take a point against Bengaluru, you can be satisfied. But, if you watch the match, there was a lack of concentration from our side in the beginning. We did not mark BFC’s players and let it (the visitor) score. In the beginning of matches, we must stay concentrated and patient, but we made silly mistakes. We gave the ball away easily and misplaced some simple passes, especially in the first 10 minutes. I was a bit surprised because we were playing at home. However, the way we bounced back gives me hope for the upcoming games. We created a lot of chances, we deserved more. We scored a bit late in the first half, but we could have done it earlier. We invested so much and sacrificed [our play] in the last 20 minutes [because of the red card]. We should learn from this match. At the end, we should carry on with four points (CFC had clinched three points after defeating ATK Mohun Bagan 2-1 in its first match of the ISL season).

On winger K Prasanth, who made a positive impact

He is a pretty good guy with good experience. He can help us with his finishing. He can improve in areas and we spoke about it [when he joined the squad]. In some of them, he has improved very quickly. He has a good understanding [of the game] and made quick decisions after the first match. He scored the goal and we are happy for him.

On centre-back Vafa Hakhamaneshi replacing the red-carded Debjit Majumder in goal

We could not make any more changes after Debjit went off. We chose to use our substitutions earlier in the match (Chennaiyin used up the maximum three windows) and Devansh Dabas could not come on. We had to decide quickly; we had two options – Fallou Diagne and Vafa. Vafa did a good job in the last few minutes and saved some good shots.

On sticking to the same starting eleven

I am a coach who does not like to change a lot of things. I rely on my players and everybody deserves to be in the playing eleven. Kwame Karikari had a little issue with his calf and hence, his opportunities were limited. That is why he got less minutes [against BFC].

On the crowd support at the ‘Marina Arena’

On the way to the stadium, I saw the fans exploding. I was very impressed with how they welcomed us. They were really good and pushed us. I hope that everybody can get positively affected by the energy and atmosphere. For the next match against FC Goa [on October 21], we hope to get more fans into the stadium. When we stick together with the fans, the players are able to play in the best possible way. It is a good sign.

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