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ISL 2019-20: John Gregory wary of ATK threat as Chennaiyin look for first win

Published Oct 29, 2019
Oct 29, 2019 IST

John Gregory is looking to get the first win of the season for Chennaiyin
John Gregory is looking to get the first win of the season for Chennaiyin

Chennaiyin FC will look to score their first goal of the season when they play their third match of the ongoing Indian Super League season on Wednesday at home against ATK.

The 2-time champions have just one point from their two games and are yet to find the back of the net. In their previous match against Mumbai City FC on Sunday, the team generated plenty of scoring opportunities, but failed to take any of them.

Speaking to the media ahead of the clash against ATK, Chennaiyin coach John Gregory is keen to set that right at the earliest.

“We did everything but score the other night. We had a lot of chances. We had 18 shots on goal. Not all on target but we certainly had the opportunities to score. I am bewildered that we did not score”, said Gregory. “The keeper made an outstanding save from Rafael (Crivellaro) as well. So I am pleased with that side of our game. There were periods last year where we were not even creating chances. We are creating chances now though.”

In ATK, they will be playing one of the in-form teams currently in the ISL as they have scored 6 goals in their two matches, the most among all teams. And Gregory is expecting a formidable challenge.

“It’s going to be an exciting game. We kept a clean sheet the other day. I thought the back four defended well. Defensively we are very pleased. I hope that it is something we can continue to do this season. ATK had an amazing victory the other night. They scored with every chance they had. With Williams and Krishna, they are difficult to keep quiet. They come from the A-League where they have done particularly well”, said the Chennaiyin coach.

While he is keen his side scores goals, he said he would take any result and is just looking for the three points at the end of the day.

“I’ll just be happy if we win. The score line doesn’t matter. If we get a clean sheet and win 1-0, I’d be delighted. We’re not a side which has had many high scoring games. I want it to be exciting but ultimately we want to win.”

Asked about the drop off in performance against Mumbai City after the opening 20 minutes during which Chennaiyin were getting into their opponents’ final third with ease. Gregory hoped for his influential players to exert control longer in the coming games.

“Many of the players are new to the club and are new to Indian football. Some may have underestimated the tempo of the game and the ability of the opposition. I think some of our players are getting used to it. The likes of Thapa and Rafael, Chhangte and Dragos are the creative players and they must stay in the game at all times. All four drifted out a bit against Mumbai and we can’t have that happening again”, said the Englishman.

He stressed that the start to the game would prove pivotal as their opponents have been very dangerous in that phase.

“We need to be switched on at all times. ATK tend to start games well, which was evident in both the games they have played.”

The Chennaiyin coach confirmed that midfielder Germanpreet Singh is back from his personal leave of absence and will be in contention again for Wednesday’s game.

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