Having seen off the international break window, John Gregory is eager to get back to business in the Indian Super League (ISL) as his Chennaiyin FC outfit get ready to take on Jamshedpur FC on Sunday.
The defending champions have had a miserable campaign so far but managed to notch up their maiden win of the season before the start of the international window by beating FC Pune City 4-2.
Having now seen his players return from national team duties, Gregory wants to carry over the momentum from the Pune win to the JRD Tata Sports Complex in Jamshedpur on Sunday.
“We lost four players in international break which is not easy. We were tensed to see them play as we didn't want them to be injured. Jeje (Lalpekhlua) of course didn't play. Prior to the Pune victory we were playing well,” the Englishman stated on the eve of the clash.
“We had huge amount of possession and on many occasions, we outclassed them. But we conceded goals. Last season this didn't happen, we were solid defensively. This year have been conceding goals. But now after the win against Pune the team has gained confidence.”
When the two teams last met in Jamshedpur in the 2017-18 season, the visitors prevailed by a solitary Jeje goal with Kervens Belfort missing a penalty for the hosts who were then managed by Steve Coppell.
Gregory expects to see a much more different Jamshedpur on Sunday with new coach Cesar Ferrando already imprinting his Spanish philosophy at the club.
“We saved a penalty in that game last season. It was an even contest. But we managed to hang on. Our defence was solid, we kept a clean sheet and we went home with all three points. But Jamshedpur have moved on since then,” he said.
“They are a better footballing team. Cesar has implemented a passing style of football. We come here probably not as strong as we were last season and Jamshedpur are probably more stronger. We are definitely not taking the match lightly,” Gregory continued.
Ruing the timing of the international break, Gregory said, “Sometimes the momentum of the win you want to take it to next game. It probably would have suited us if played another game before the break. But this is the way the fixture is.”
“The next five matches will determine the reminder of the season. We cannot afford to slip behind any further,” Gregory concluded.