ISL 2017: Chennaiyin without Gregory will not be complacent against struggling Dynamos
Second on the Indian Super League table, Chennaiyin FC were dealt a blow ahead of their next game on Sunday when they learnt that they would have to do without their coach John Gregory on the sidelines owing to a suspension.
Gregory was sent to the stands in Chennaiyin’s previous match against Jamshedpur FC for protesting the award of a penalty against his side. Gregory will miss the team's next three games.
In his absence, assistant coach Sabir Pasha addressed the media ahead of the game. When asked if the head coach’s absence would be felt, Pasha replied in the affirmative.
“Gregory's absence is clearly disappointing. But the team is focused on the three points”, said Pasha.
Along with Gregory, Chennaiyin will also have to do without their captain and lead defender Henrique Sereno who collected an automatic one-match suspension after picking up his fourth yellow card of the season.
“Sereno will miss the game. It is going to tough to replace him”, Pasha admitted. “John (Gregory) has worked on that and we are prepared for it and we will have somebody stepping in for him.”
Their opponents on Sunday are the Delhi Dynamos who are currently languishing at the bottom of the table, having lost six games in a row. But Pasha said Chennaiyin are not going to be taking them lightly.
“We know how Delhi is. Being the bottom of the table does not matter”, said Pasha.
“They are a good side and we can't be complacent against any side. It is going to be a tough game. They will come hard at us and we have to play much better than how we have played so far.”
Pasha revealed that barring Sereno, Chennaiyin have a full squad to choose from.
"Our squad is completely fit. Our team has done a commendable job and our team is really fit. The break has been good for us after journeying to Jamshedpur and we have utilised the break very well. We have been able to rest all our key players."
Chennaiyin have been strong defensively thanks to their backline being one of the best in the competition. Pasha explained that tomorrow would be a good test for the side without a key defender in Sereno.
“When you lose the ball, you defend as a team. So, everybody is responsible for defence. Not just Sereno.
“We have played well as a unit in defence. I think tomorrow will be a test for us as Sereno will be absent. And we expect Delhi to go all out at us. We are planned for the eventuality”, Pasha said as he rounded things off.