Chennaiyin FC got their first win of the 2016 Indian Super League season after they beat FC Goa 2-0 at home on Thursday. First half goals from Hans Mulder and Mehrajuddin Wadoo, who captained the side, gave Chennaiyin the win as coach Marco Materazzi made four changes to the side that played in the previous game.
“When someone is left out, I'm always very sad. I know what it means as a player and I know that everybody wants to play all the games,” Materazzi told reporters after the game in response to a question on Jeje Lalpekhlua being benched.
“I cannot make everyone happy. Someone will say Jeje, someone will say Ganesh or Mohanraj, but what matters is that we won. Today the guys won so congratulations to them”, Materazzi said choosing to focus on the guys who played and delivered as opposed to the ones who didn't.
The defence that had struggled previously was tweaked for this game, Eli Sabia replacing Bernard Mendy in the middle while youngster Jerry Lalrinzuala started at left-back after having come on as a substitute in both previous games. Materazzi expressed his happiness at the result and said the mentality had a lot to do with.
“I'm always happy (when we win). Last week I said it was my fault and as you know it's not just the defence, but the whole team that makes the game. We came in with a different mentality.
“What I always tell my players is that if we put in the hard work, the hunger and the will to struggle, we can win. If not, we’re not the same team and we will be at the bottom of the table,” the Italian added.
He also had words of praise for Jerry, who put in an assured performance.
“I keep Jerry in great consideration because during the training sessions he is very, very good, he works hard, he fights hard and he deserved his place today. And if Jerry continues like this, he will play again,” Materazzi mentioned in a nod to his future prospects.
Materazzi also talked about how the week of rest between the last game and this one had helped.
“We have seven days to recover. It's something we've learnt from the last game, between the Kolkata game and Delhi game, we had only about four days and we learnt a lesson. Now we have seven. The important thing will be to who to put in the first eleven. We will have a good recovery in the seven days and we'll look to put the best team out in the next game,” highlighted Materazzi.
Chennaiyin had a similar start to the season last year, playing the exact same opponents. Winless after two games, they beat Goa in their third match to get their first win, exactly like the way it has played out this season.
Materazzi remained hopeful that they can go on to match similar feats as last year, but that the focus was on making the playoffs.
“I hope so, it won't be easy because the whole level of the league has gone up. So, if you remember last year the two games against NorthEast we got no points. What matters is that we need to get to the playoffs. From that point, everything is zero again, we start again from the beginning and we'll see what happens,” he added as the team flies out to Guwahati to face NorthEast United FC in their next game.
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