Kochi (Kerala) [India], February 6 (ANI): As Chennaiyin FC gear up to face Kerala Blasters FC in an exciting southern derby of the Indian Super League (ISL) 2022-23 on Tuesday, head coach Thomas Brdaric has urged his players to put their best foot forward to remain in the hunt for a playoffs spot.
Currently placed eighth on the points table with 18 points, the Marina Machans are seven points behind the sixth-placed Bengaluru FC with four games still in hand.
"We are a team who tried to learn this season and to get a strong future. Yes, we had some bad luck in the last few games, but tomorrow is another challenge and another opponent. They [Kerala Blasters] have almost qualified, and that [playoffs] is still our target. We will try our best in these four games to reach Top-6. We have to win the matches and exploit our opportunities better," Brdaric commented while addressing the media on Monday ahead of the crucial encounter as quoted by a press release from Chennaiyin FC.
The gaffer also heaped praises on in-form Abdenasser El Khayati and said that the Dutch midfielder is essential to help the team to pursue targets. El Khayati has played a significant role for Chennaiyin in the ongoing season by scoring eight goals from nine matches.
The matches between Chennaiyin and Kerala Blasters have always witnessed high-voltage action and the coach has asked his players to use the electric atmosphere of Kochi's Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium to their advantage.
"We have to keep going. We will try to inflict defeat on Kerala Blasters tomorrow, and that's why we are here," Brdaric said.
Defender Gurmukh Singh also echoed the coach's sentiments and said, "Kerala is a good side. We will implement our plans in the best possible way."On the other hand, Kerala Blasters are third on the points table but are coming into the match having lost three of their last four games. Both teams played out a 1-1 draw during their last meeting earlier this season. Both sides have played 19 matches against each other. Chennaiyin has won six, lost five and eight matches have ended in a draw. (ANI)