ISL 2017: Chennaiyin FC’s John Gregory - Referees are deciding the outcome of the games

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The English coach mentioned that the first half performance against FC Goa would haunt him forever...

Chennaiyin FC coach John Gregory has called for the referees to make fair decisions so as to not favour any particular side. He cited two instances where a poor decision from the match official has seen the course of the game change altogether.

“A couple of teams have been at the end of very bad refereeing decisions and even Bengaluru. I came to India and everybody told me about the standard of refereeing, and I was quite happy to shut up and get on with it and accept the decisions that were made. Last Sunday our match (against Mumbai City FC) was decided by a very poor decision by the referee. Replays showed that the incident was clearly out of the penalty box.

“Last night against Kerala, a NorthEast player got sent off wrongly when  he should have just got a yellow card. Referees have decided two games. Referees are deciding the outcome of games and I just hope tomorrow night (Sunday), referees aren't the ones who decide the outcome of the game. I hope they have a good game. They deal fairly and don’t favour one team or the other,” was the plea from Gregory.

The Super Machans are coming on the back of a 1-0 defeat at the hands of Mumbai City FC where Balwant Singh was deemed to have been fouled by Mailson Alves inside the box and a penalty was awarded.

Gregory was distraught with the decision and mentioned that it took him two days to get over the defeat.

“It is always hard and it takes a while; probably longer for myself than the players. It took me a good 48 hours to remove the bad taste of defeat. We went to Mumbai pretty confident of getting a result and I was a little bit bitter that we lost because of a poor decision. But, my job is always to pick the boys up and get ready for the next one.

“I am standing in front a bunch of players who are all fit. That is testament to how well they look after each other and how they recover from matches. There's no better place really to try and get things right against a team who is at the top. So my players are 100 per cent focused and are determined to make up for last week's disappointing result,” he assured.

Chennaiyin FC ISL season 4 2017/2018

It must be pointed that  Bengaluru FC last played on a Thursday while Chennaiyin come into the tie after a weeklong rest.

“If we win, it will be a big advantage. But these comments you make after the game. When we went to Mumbai, it our third game of the week, which was a strain on our players. But players are always ready to go for the games. That's not a concern. Albert (Roca) certainly rested some of his players on Thursday. Johnson got rested and Garcia came later on. At the end they also got a good result. Every one of them is playing so well. You rarely feel tired when things are going your way,” he said.

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Gregory reiterated that he made an error against FC Goa in their opening game of the season where the visitors scored thrice in the opening 45 minutes.

“It was not only the defence, but the shape of the team that we did not get right for the first 45 minutes against Goa. You defend from the front, and that particular day we did not do it. We changed our shape and we are defending better since then. We are getting that much better balance into the team

“I think the first 45 minutes against Goa will haunt me for a long, long time. It is a reminder to me that how badly you can get things wrong. I shall make sure I never make that mistake again. Let's hope we can add to it tomorrow (Sunday) night. After 18 games in the regular season, we want to be in the play-offs,” said Gregory.

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