Two struggling sides are up against each other as Hyderabad FC pits its wits against Chennaiyin FC in the Indian Super League here on Friday.
Hyderabad is at the bottom of the table with five points from 11 matches and is in dire need of a win. Chennaiyin, placed a spot above Hyderabad with nine points from 10 games, is equally desperate for the three points on offer.
The home side has had a forgettable debut season in the ISL so far. It has just one win to its name and has the worst defensive record in the league, having shipped in 26 goals already. Hyderabad is also yet to keep a clean sheet.
However, Hyderabad head coach Phil Brown still oozes confidence as his team takes on former champion, Chennaiyin FC at the GMC Balayogi Stadium.
“Yes, we have to win our the home games to give ourselves a chance of staying in contention in the league. And, for that we need to show the desired consistency and arrest the disturbing trend of losing some closes matches which we could have won,” says Brown ahead of the match.
“It is disappointing that we will lose services of Rafael Gomez (injured in the last game) and unfortunate that he will be out of action for a couple of weeks,” he said to a query. “There is no thought of any replacement to him for sure,” he added.
“It is imperative for us to put in the kind of performance which should bring cheer to the splendid support we have been receiving, especially for all the home games,” the Hyderabad coach said.
“There will be pressure but we have to keep working hard to turn it on,” he says.
“I must say with a sense of pride that the boys are still giving off their best and we hope for the turn-around in fortunes tomorrow with an improved display,” Brown said.
For his part, two-time champion Chennaiyin coach, Owen Coyle, who interestingly played under Phil Brown back home in UK League, says the biggest challenge for his team will be consistency after two consecutive losses against FC Goa and Odisha FC.
“We badly need back-to-back wins to push ourselves closer to the top four in the league and I am confident my boys will come up with the kind of performances that are expected of them,” he said.
“We have to do justice to our fans, franchisee owners by being consistent in every match,” Coyle concluded.
But, the biggest concern for both the teams is the number of goals conceded - 26 by Hyderabad and 18 by Chennaiyin.