ISL 2023-24: Chennaiyin FC eye win against Kerala Blasters at home (Ld)

Chennai, Feb 15 (IANS) Chennaiyin FC are back at home in the Indian Super League (ISL) 2023-24 and will go up against Kerala Blasters FC at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium in Chennai on Thursday, hoping to win the match and remain on course for a spot in the next stage.

The Marina Machans have nine matches left in the league with six of them to be played at their home venue and head coach Owen Coyle is optimistic about positive results in those fixtures. They are currently sitting in 11th position in the points table with a total of 12 points.

“We still have a great a fantastic chance of making the playoffs as we have nine matches left to play in the league with six of them at our home. We always aimed to be competitive and start to build and we also want to make it to playoffs. To do that, we have to perform well at home as we’ve done before. The team understands the reasons for our recent performance and we look to get better. After a long time, we have a fully fit squad to choose from which is great and we’re back at home,” commented Coyle in the press conference ahead of the match.

“Absolutely we are optimistic about a positive result because we know how hard-working players we’ve got. We have young, hungry players and one sitting next to me and they want to get better. Our players want to do well, and that’s the way we move forward for CFC. We will always be positive and optimistic because we know what the big picture is in the league,” he said.

On the other hand, Kerala Blasters are coming into the match on a four-match losing streak, however, the Scotsman heaped praise on the opponent and stated that it will be an attacking contest. Both teams played an exciting 3-3 draw when they met previously in ISL.

“Kerala’s form doesn’t affect our preparations. I think they’d be terrific and part of that is because of the heart and continuity. They’ve been the same coach for a number of years and have good players but so do we. We have to make sure that we are at our best because we’ve shown when we are our best, particularly at home, then we’re capable of winning games, so that’s what we have to do,” the head coach said.

“I do expect two very attack-minded teams going against each other to win the game. We obviously want to win for our aim of achieving the top six and they would like to win to be back in amongst right at the very top where they belong. As I said, they’ve been an absolute credit to themselves and the football club,” he said.

“I think it makes for a fantastic game, as most of the ISL games do because everybody’s playing for something now and that’s why it makes it so competitive. But for us, it’s taking the right steps to keep building, keep building,” added Coyle.

Midfielder Ayush Adhikari also joined the head coach in the press conference and reckoned that they are working hard on to close the errors in the next matches.

“It’s good to be back home tomorrow and of course, it’s not a good feeling when you don’t get a victory as we always go to the field with a winning mentality. To be fair, if you look at the matches, we created the chances as well and it’s been small details, which has made a difference. So, we are working on that, to close those small errors and to get back on the winning ways as we did in the first segment,” concluded Adhikari.

Chennaiyin and Kerala Blasters share a close head-to-head record in 19 matches played between them in ISL, with the Marina Machans and Kerala Blasters winning five matches each, while nine ended in a draw.



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