Chennaiyin coach Gregory eyes early goal against Bengaluru in ISL final
Bengaluru, Mar 16 (PTI) Chennaiyin FC head coach John Gregory today said he would be eyeing for an early goal to put Bengaluru FC on the backfoot in the summit clash of the fourth edition of Indian Super League here tomorrow.
Gregory said Bengaluru FC were not unbeatable as his side had defeated them in Bengaluru in the league stage, which will boost the confidence of the visiting side.
"It is a game where if we score first, they have a mountain to climb. There has got to be a winner on the day. Both teams probably have to be a little bit more attack-minded. With the quality of the two teams, I think we will have a winner (without extra time and penalties)," he told reporters on the eve of the final at the Kanteerava Stadium.
"We are not the only team who have won there as well, so we know Bengaluru are not infallible. We have the utmost respect for them for what they have done this season, but we don't fear anybody," he said.
Gregory said his striker Jeje Lalpekhlua would be a key man tomorrow as his confidence has been high after getting a brace in the last league match against Goa FC.
Asked if Sunil Chhetri will be a threat for Chennaiyin, Gregory said if the team could keep the Indian skipper and Miku, who have scored 27 goals between them, quiet, they might have a chance to win the game.
"Chhetri and Miku, both are very similar to Goa's Ferran Corominas and Manuel Lanzarote," Gregory said.
On Bengaluru's set-piece abilities, Gregory said the home side rarely repeat their set-pieces and they came up with surprises.
"Albert (Roca) I know works hard on that side of the game. If Sunil (Chhetri) takes a Panenka, I will be after him," he added.
Replying to a query, Gregory said Bengaluru were better off than his side in terms of getting a good start to this ISL season because they have been together for more time.
"From those early days, we spent a few weeks in pre-season trying to know each other. We took a little while to get going. In that respect, they had a bit of a head start but we made up for that. We just have to go one step further," said the 63-year-old Englishman
Gregory said the stadium and pitches where ISL matches are being played mirrors the English Premier League.
"I have been pleasantly surprised by the standards and the quality. The matchdays are amazing. To have every game live on TV is pretty amazing. It's fantastic coverage. It has been an absolute privilege and we want to finish it well," he said