Chennaiyin FC is on their hunt for the first win of the ISL season and is going to face a stiff challenge when they face ATK on Friday evening at the majestic Salt Lake Stadium.
The South Indian squad has had a poor start to the season with just a single point in their bag after four matches.
Their coach John Gregory was not present at the pre-match press conference since he was suffering a sore throat and will be joining the squad later on.
“Unfortunately John couldn’t be here because of a sore throat. He’s in Delhi right now. He’ll be travelling today or tomorrow. He’s in touch with the club and is talking with the staff and players. He’s mentally here, but can’t be here physically. He’ll be there on the field tomorrow,” said their assistant coach Syed Pasha.
In spite of the mixed start to the season, the Chennai official still believes that they can finish at the top four positions.
“We are trying for a top-four finish. We want to win the finals. It’s a long way to for the playoffs. You could have seen what happened to Chennai in FC two years back. Everyone had written off Chennaiyin FC but we came back and won the whole thing,” said Pasha during the press conference.
Pasha is very cautious about the clash against ATK and feels that the Kolkata based side is very strong at home, although the recent record says otherwise.
“ATK is a champion side. There is no doubt that there’s a mutual respect between us. ATK is always strong, especially at home. They will never want to lose tomorrow. They play really hard, put the opponent under pressure. They are a very good side, who can’t be taken lightly at any point of time,” said Pasha.
The assistant coach is not convinced to give any excuses regarding the poor performances in the opening stages of the league but feels that they are improving game by game. Regarding the matter, Pasha said,
“We’ve played four matches and we can see the cream of Chennaiyin FC being played. There are some new faces on the team. It’s an early phase. On the field, I think we’re doing good. Day by day, the performance-level is improving. We’re working on our mistakes but I think we’re getting better.”