As Chennaiyin FC gear up to take on NorthEast United FC in their second match of Indian Super League 2023-24 season on Friday, defender Aakash Sangwan urged his teammates to be more cautious in the defence department in order to secure a victory.
Chennaiyin FC didn’t have the desired outcome in their opening match of the season against Odisha FC last week despite exhibiting spirited performance as they suffered a 0-2 loss. However, Owen Coyle’s men have regrouped to face the Highlanders in an away game at Indira Gandhi Athletic Stadium in Guwahati.
While addressing the media ahead of the game, Sangwan said the team is motivated to get that first win and are aiming for three points.
“The most important thing is to not concede goals that we could easily defend. So that’s our priority in the next game. We want to keep the clean sheet because that gives us the chance to win the game,” the 27-year-old said.
The Chennaiyin head coach Coyle said it was just the start and believes that the team will get better as the season progresses and asked players to continue working hard.
“The only disappointing thing was the result [against Odisha], not the performance. The boys played very well the other day. We would have won that game. So it was a lot to be pleased about. We should have been in front with some wonderful chances.
“We’ve got some outstanding young Indian players in our team. For us, it’s like most teams that continue to grow, continue to develop and be clinical when our chances present ourselves. Nothing is decided in the first few weeks of the season. I know that from my own experience all over the world. But there’s no doubt the longer we go, the better we will become,” Coyle commented.
Chennaiyin had defeated NorthEast United in their final match of the last season and hold a slight edge when it comes to head-to-head record in the ISL. In their 18 previous meetings in the league, Chennaiyin have secured seven victories while NorthEast United won on six occasions.
Although the hosts are also coming into the match after a defeat against Mumbai City FC, Coyle alerted his players of potential danger and admitted that his men have to be at their best to win the game against NorthEast United.
“I watched their [NorthEast United] game against Mumbai City. They did very well. So we’re under no illusions how difficult the game will be, but we’re looking forward to it. I thought their work rate against Mumbai City was on a very high level, so we know it’ll be a tough game.
“We know what the plan is moving ahead. We know what the vision is and what we’re going to do. We’ll be doing everything in our power to try and win a tough game,” he further added.
Coyle also informed that their Australian striker Jordan Murray picked up an injury after he slipped on the stairs and the call on his inclusion in the playing XI would be taken depending on his condition before the match.