Chennaiyin FC coach John Gregory was happy to see his side cruise to a 3-0 win over NorthEast United FC and stressed the importance of maintaining clean sheets over the course of the season.
"I probably took more pleasure from not conceding today. It was a great result. But we need to keep clean sheets every week. The best teams who do this are teams who keep clean sheets.
Defensively, our boys were brilliant."
After succumbing to a 3-2 defeat in the hands of FC Goa in the first game of the season, the Chennai squad made sure they made no defensive errors in their first home game of the season.
"It was important we did not take any risks and I spoke to my boys and asked them to focus on defending. We wanted to not concede in the first 20 minutes of the second half. It was very important. The boys who came on had the chance to impress everybody and they did that." said the Englishman.
Gregory lauded the performance of the Brazilian midfielder, Raphael Augusto who apparently wasn't completely fit when he took to the field.
"He (Raphael Augusto) took off a strapping after about 15-20 minutes on his knee. He has been battling with an injury. He was only 80-85% fit It was an outstanding contribution from him and he got into encouraging positions. He was phenomenal. We also could give him some rest as well. He is an outstanding player. It is down to myself to get the best out of him. You
have to give him space and freedom." he said.
The coach talked about how rotating the squad would be vital for the team going forward in the season.
"We might need to give one or two a rest soon. My four national team boys (Jeje, Thapa, Jerry, Germanpreet) have been playing considerably. They tell me that they work very hard under Stephen Constantine when they are with the national team. So, I need to keep them fresh. I wanted to bring Jeje off earlier than today. So, we might need to change things up."
Gregory was also impressed with the performance of midfielder Dhanpal Ganesh who made his first start of the season under the new manager.
"I told him (Dhanpal Ganesh) to get ready for tonight. I always tell them the first touch of the ball should be good. He did that and that gave him a good start. He was very tired at the end of the game but it was an amazing effort."