Chennaiyin FC’s quest for a first home win of the season remained unfulfilled as they played out a 0-0 draw against their neighbors Kerala Blasters in the Indian Super League. Chennaiyin had plenty of chances to score but failed to find the back of the net, leaving them still 8th in the table with just five points to their name.
Chennaiyin have now failed to score in consecutive home games.
Their coach John Gregory was once again left ruing the opportunities his team had squandered during the game.
Speaking after the game Gregory said, "I feel obviously pleased from a defensive point of view with the clean sheet. But we had golden opportunities to score goals and win the game. Sometimes I look at my players and wonder if they realize the importance of these games."
Chennaiyin created quite a few chances with three gilt-edged ones going begging. Off a Raphael Augusto ball across goal in just the third minute, Isaac Vanmalsawma failed to get a good connection.
In the 33rd minute, Thoi Singh and Jeje Lalpekhlua exchanged passes to carve out a wonderful opportunity on a counter. But Thoi completely scuffed his shot after receiving Jeje's pass with nothing but an empty net in front of him.
And in the 63rd minute, Andrea Orlandi missed from the penalty spot after Isaac set him up with a well-cushioned pass.
Gregory was clearly left frustrated over all the misses: "Hurts me more than my players sometimes. Bengaluru will get one chance and score and win the game. Coro will get 1 chance and put it away, same with Chhetri and Miku."
"The game should have been over after 45 minutes. We really should have won this game", he added. "We created chances tonight and (it's) rather frustrating when we don’t take them."
Gregory made five changes to his team for this game, including replacing Karanjit Singh in goal with Sanjiban Ghosh, who looked solid through the game. Laldinliana Renthlei was also inserted at right-back.
The coach was happy with the way the new back-four performed: "You put your trust in your goalkeeper and your defence. The two new boys in defence today did outstandingly well to defend."
"Mailson (Alves) and Eli (Sabia) were particularly outstanding today. Protected the goal very well. Young Renthlei had a great game. Looked like an old pro," said Gregory.
He also mentioned that the rest of the players had done their best to help out new keeper Ghosh for this game.
"He was likely to be nervous. But he came into the team and got on with it. Players gave a lot of confidence in the dressing room and the hotel before the game. They were supportive of him. He will benefit from the 90 minutes today."
Gregory went to great lengths explaining how the coaching staff has been trying to keep the players motivated after such results.
"When you go on a run like this with just one win, your confidence comes under pressure a little bit. We’ve had to be level headed. We’ve been careful at pacifying and assuring the players that they’ve been playing well."
"Our fans have stuck behind us. Players read all this. Fans are here and chanting and supporting despite us losing three times here. But it’s not something you can give your players; you can give them Gatorade, not a bottle of confidence."
Gregory also revealed how it was important to keep the morale up in the team as they have a quick turnaround before the next game on Sunday.
"We have to keep everybody motivated. After tonight we’ve just got three days before ATK come here on Sunday," he finished.Published 30 Nov 2018, 00:43 IST