Keep calm! Chennaiyin coach John Gregory says team are not panicking ahead of crunch tie with NorthEast United

Chennaiyin manager John Gregory insists he is calm about his side’s poor start to the season, but knows they must improve.

John Gregory’s men have started the season with defeats to Bengaluru FC and FC Goa and they host familiar face in the name of NorthEast United looking to pick up their first points of the season.

This is the worst start to a season for Chennaiyin FC since 2015, but Gregory insisted there is no reason to panic.

“We are not desperate. We are only three points behind where we were last season. We just need to relax and keep calm. We had many obstacles last season. We ignored and them and focused. The results came. There won’t be any knee-jerk reactions from me. We just need to slowly find a way to get a result. I just want my players to relax and play football,� the Chennaiyin coach said.

“We have lacked a bit of quality in the final third. And defensively too we need to improve. Last year’s success was built on a strong defence and we need to improve,â€� he added.

He also took off few of his foreign players to get a positives results, but insisted he was happy with the team’s work rate. He also confirms that he will make some changes in the starting XI against NorthEast United.

“I could sacrifice anybody just to make sure the team gets results, when we played Bengaluru I took off captain and central definer Mailson Alves just to get back into the game we have to make sacrifice like that, in the game against FC Goa, I also took of Calde to get on another striker. Sometimes you have to make sacrifice even though it doesn’t reflect their forms on the pitch. It is just the rules that you cannot have more than five players, so I have to make sacrifice couple of defenders in both games to get a goal back to run the game around.�

Will the Chennaiyin FC forwards end their flop show?

The Chennaiyin forward unit of Jeje and Carlos Salom have had a disappointing start this season and haven’t hit the ground running for their team.

The two forwards combined to have just 3 shots out of the 24 shots taken by the entire team in 2 matches. Although Carlos Salom has played only 47 mins this season, 111 mins fewer than Jeje, he is the only forward for Chennaiyin who has a shot on target this season.

Gregory said the number of chances missed was one of the reasons why he was staying positive after the match.

“Jeje has tremendous capability. My only advice to him is to stay focused. He is a proven goalscorer. It’s only a matter of time. Once he gets that first goal, everything will fall into place. The same I’m certain will follow with our first win.â€�

When asked about his opponents on Thursday, Gregory said, “NorthEast have had a fantastic start but they have never finished in the play-off spot. But we have to respect them. They beat ATK and almost beat Goa.�

“We don’t talk about last year much. It is not something that is omnipresent. It happened six months ago. We don’t focus on it. We just get on with it. The club itself had a lot of problems in 2015 when they faced obstacles and had to go to Pune after floods. “We just need to calm down and focus on how to put things right. All we need to do is go out and keep doing what we have to do.�

Along with ATK, who are also enduring their worst start to the season having not picked up a point in two matches and yet to score, Chennaiyin FC will be looking to pick up their first points of the season.


 

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Source: Matchday Frolics
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