CHENNAI: Coming after an international break, Chennaiyin FC will look to get back to winning ways in the 2023-24 Indian Super League (ISL) when they take on East Bengal FC at the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium on Saturday.
The Marina Machans registered thrilling victories against Hyderabad FC and Punjab FC before losing to FC Goa in their last match and head coach Owen Coyle acknowledged that a break has helped the players to re-energise and prepare well for another game in front of the home crowd.
"Everybody likes to get into a break on a winning result. That never happened but it was important for our lads to spend time with their families, especially after a particular run of games and it allowed some of our players to go home as well. We worked hard after coming from the break to prepare for another match at home and we are really looking forward to it," commented Coyle during the pre-match press conference on Friday.
He added, "It's always exciting to play against a big club like East Bengal. We have a fantastic fan base and our fans have been outstanding, so, we want to reward our fans and to do that the team needs to play well and hopefully put a smile on their face."
East Bengal are coming into the match after three defeats in a row and although the Scotsman admitted that Chennaiyin have a home advantage, playing and scoring goals against Carles Cuadrat's men would not be an easy task for his team.
"I think in the ISL, it is always going to be very difficult to play against East Bengal. It's never easy to score goals and that's the hardest part of football. I hold Carles in high regard as his football ability is fantastic and I am looking forward to seeing him but he knows as I do for the duration of the game, we'll be doing everything in our power to win the game. He's an outstanding man and I know how hard he works, so we know it's going to be a difficult game," stated Coyle.
Striker Jordan Murray also accompanied the coach and emphasised on the importance of playing as a team to win games in the ISL.
"I picked up a slight injury at the start of the season which was a bit of a setback but my job is to come and make an impact when the opportunity arises. I've been working hard and the boys have been great as well, working with the gaffer. For me, it is about putting my head down and working as hard as I can and doing everything for the team whether I am starting or not. I've just been happy to have the opportunity to play football," Murray concluded.
In head-to-head records, Chennaiyin FC are unbeaten against East Bengal in ISL and have won two out of six matches, while four matches have ended in draws. IANS